BELINDA MCGUIRE
DANCE

PROJECTS

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« I seek to illuminate the prevalence of relativity over randomness in the world; zoom in to the seemingly arbitrary and you will still find stimulus and response. There is hope and beauty in the belief that actions have consequences, so I celebrate that in my work.

Through dance creation, collaboration, and performance, I am committed to knowledge-making that helps us better understand the way things work: the inescapable stimulus and the consistency of response. By taking risks and allowing the micro failures and successes to be seen within macro accomplishments, courage becomes contagious. » 
- Belinda McGuire

© Jubal Battisti

 

« Like a great narrator, she’s a dancer you want non-stop closeness to, that sustained feeling of intimacy in both stillness and motion. While her lexicon of movement is broad, I came to trust the power of her delivery – the sense of motivation, the possibility of surprise – in every step. »
- Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail

BELINDA MCGUIRE is an American-Canadian dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and Artistic Director of Belinda McGuire Dance Projects, based in Brooklyn. Her choreography has been supported by the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, and presented across the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico. A former student of the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, she completed her formal education at The Juilliard School.

Established in 2007, Belinda McGuire Dance Projects (BMDP) supports the research, development, production, and presentation of international and collaborative multidisciplinary dance performance as a means to stimulate the conscientious capacity of wide-ranging publics through exposure to creative experimentation and artistic excellence. Through BMDP, Belinda has commissioned and performed in world premieres by Kate Alton, Sylvain Émard, Andrea Miller, Sharon Moore, Idan Sharabi, Doug Varone, and Emio Greco | Pieter C. Scholten. In 2013, she was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance in The Heist Project (2013), was awarded The Chrystal Dance Prize with Vanessa Goodman to support a collaborative new creation (2019) and recognized as a sponsored artist of USArtists International (2019). Additionally, Belinda has performed as a company member for Doug Varone and Dancers, Gallim Dance, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Anne Plamondon, Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY, Action at a Distance, and The José Limón Dance Company, appearing on stages across Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States. 

Formal residencies for Belinda McGuire Dance Projects include Centre de Création O Vertigo, Éspace Marie Chouinard, International Choreographic Arts Centre Amsterdam, James Sewell Ballet Company, National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Workshop, New Dialect, New York State & Province of Quebec Artist-in-Residence Exchange Program, ODC San Francisco, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Springboard Danse Montréal and the Bessie Schönberg Residency at the Yard in Martha’s Vineyard. She has taught and choreographed as a guest artist for Harvard, École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal, The Juilliard School, The Limón Institute, Marymount Manhattan College, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, State University of New York at Purchase, The National Ballet of Canada, Canada’s National Ballet School, New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, Brooklyn Ballet, and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre.

As a filmmaker, Belinda created the groundbreaking interactive dance film, Order in the Eye of the Beholder, released March 2021.

As a producer, Belinda launched one-woman shows “The Desert Island Project” (2008), “The Heist Project” (2011), “Three Muses” (2015) and “Waltz Slaughterhouse Requiem” (2017), and three iterations of a Brooklyn-based dance festival, Offset Dance Fest (2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020).

WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM
WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM

Photo : Gothamfotografia

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WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM
WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM

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WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM
WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM

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WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM
WALTZ-SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQIEM

Photo : Gothamfotografia

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WALTZ - SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQUIEM

MIXED PROGRAM-2017

MODERN AND

CONTEMPORARY DANCE

WALTZ
CHOREOGRAPHER  Sylvain Émard
PERFORMER  Belinda McGuire
COMPOSER  Martin Tétreault (original composition)
COSTUME DESIGN  François St-Aubin
LIGHTING DESIGN  André Rioux
PREMIERE  Toronto, 2017

 

SLAUGHTERHOUSE/REQUIEM

CHOREOGRAPHER  Belinda McGuire
PERFORMER  Belinda McGuire

COMPOSERS  Arvo Pärt, Michael Gordon, Alfredo de Angelis

COSTUME DESIGN  Belinda McGuire

SET DESIGN  Belinda McGuire

LIGHTING DESIGN Solomon Weisbard

PROJECTION DESIGN  Michael F. Bergmann

PREMIERE  Toronto, 2017 

DURATION : 60 minutes

(18 min. for Waltz, 34 min. for Slaughterhouse/Requiem)

CREW : 1 dancer + 1 technician + 1 administrator
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Width 40' / Depth 25' / Height 18’  (12.19m x 7.62m x 5.48m)

SET-UP : 12 hours
AUDIENCE SIZE : Small and medium size venues

OUTREACH : Master classes and talk backs with the audience

VIEW COMPLETE TECHNICAL RIDER

The Waltz - Slaughterhouse/Requiem Program (2017) is the third solo project of newly commissioned works, including Waltz by Sylvain Émard (Montreal) and Slaughterhouse/Requiem by Belinda McGuire.

 

Waltz, a 18 minutes solo performance that makes us go into the search of moments which marked the course of a life. It’s an attempt by the body to revive and feel again, that which was for a time pleasant or brutally intense. Caught between the necessary availability of movement and the desire to bring out what is now part of oneself, we wonder, does memory interfere with our ability to fully understand the present moment?


Slaughterhouse/Requiem explores the thrilling and frightening, reassuring and intimidating, grounding and unsettling proposal that “every day is a gift”. This 34-minute solo dance work unfolds in three chapters, each shorter and more distilled than the last, the same story through a starkly alternative lens.  Chapter I features music from Arvo Pärt’s Berlin Mass, Chapter II an orchestra of air raid sirens composed by Michael Gordon and Chapter III a melancholic and sweet tango waltz by Alfredo de Angelis. Through the live dancer (and the myriad vestiges, reflections and impressions of herself which exist within and pass through the work), wrangle with connections between preemptive mourning, nostalgia, and the fleeting awareness that life is happening now.

“ [...] I was moved to the core and knew with certainty that I had witnessed an historic moment in solo contemporary dance. The unique signature of her artistry hit me with all the power of Marie Chouinard or Susannah Linke in their own unforgettable solo concerts. Waltz - Slaughterhouse/Requiem reaches a kind of perfection as a program, not because the works are virtuosic and sexy (though they are that), but because they reveal the authentic, heroic and fragile gifts of both creators. [...] I hope that the program can be seen across Canada and around the world.

- Peggy Baker

WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE
WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE

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WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE
WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE

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WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE
WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE

Photo Gothamfotografia

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WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE
WALTZ - ANTHEM - FABLE

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3 MUSES :
WALTZ - 
ANTHEM FABLE

MIXED PROGRAM-2019

MODERN AND

CONTEMPORARY DANCE

WALTZ

CHOREOGRAPHER  Sylvain Émard
PERFORMER  Belinda McGuire
COMPOSER  Martin Tétreault (original composition)
COSTUME DESIGN  François St-Aubin
LIGHTING DESIGN  André Rioux
PREMIERE  Toronto, 2017 

ANTHEM FOR THE LIVING
CHOREOGRAPHER  Sharon B. Moore
PERFORMER  Belinda McGuire
COMPOSER  Alexander Balanescu
COSTUMES  Katharine Mallinson
PREMIERE  New York City, 2011

 

FABLE

CHOREOGRAPHER  Belinda McGuire
PERFORMER  Belinda McGuire
COMPOSER  Richard Wagner (from “Tristan und Isolde”)
COSTUMES  Belinda McGuire
PREMIERE  New York City, 2008

DURATION : 60 minutes
(18 min. Waltz + 22 min. Anthem for the Living + 11 min. Fable)

CREW : 1 dancer + 1 technician + 1 administrator
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Width 40' / Depth 25' / Height 18’ (12.19m x 7.62m x 5.48m)

SET-UP : 8 hours
AUDIENCE SIZE : Small to medium size venues

OUTREACH : Master classes and talk backs with the audience

VIEW COMPLETE TECHNICAL RIDER

3 Muses : Waltz - Anthem - Fable is a mixed program featuring three poignant solos performed by Belinda McGuire, choreographed by Sharon B. Moore (Anthem for the Living), Sylvain Émard (Waltz), and by McGuire herself (Fable).

Waltz, flawlessly combined with Martin Tétreault’s original musical composition, makes us go deep into the search of moments which marked the course of a life. It’s an attempt by the body to revive and feel again that which was for a time pleasant or brutally intense. Caught between the necessary availability of movement and the desire to bring out what is now part of oneself, we wonder, does memory interfere with our ability to fully understand the present moment ?

Anthem for the Living is stirring, mysterious and tremendously physical. Sharon B. Moore unleashes deep layers of McGuire through textured and magnetic movement, which synthesizes dance, theatre and circus to music by Alexander Balanescu.


Fable is set to the love duet from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and captures the anticipation, acceptance, enjoyment and disillusionment of a dark fate. A signature work that captures McGuire’s movement identity most effectively - full-bodied, physically rich, and musical. 

« [...] There is a sense of unmooring from linear time; we become disoriented as time overlaps. It seems McGuire is reliving the past while experiencing sensations in the present. McGuire waltzes with the human condition, with awe and loss, sensation and recollection in equal balance. »

- Colleen Snell, The Dance Current

« Her ability to go instantly from light to dark, still to explosive, silly to deep, is impressive and continually startling… McGuire, though, throws off flashes of virtuosity from nowhere, blasting fast jumps or other large explosive devices so quickly they seem improbable. The power in her body is remarkable, as is the sheer volume of movement in this piece and the evening… »

- Quinn Batson, Offoffoff Dance

« [...] using a relatively small movement palette with deep lunges and backward arches, Ms. McGuire created a dreamy, sensual mood. But there were hints of darkness… »

- Claudia la Rocco, New York Times

ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Still from the movie

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ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Still from the movie

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ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Still from the movie

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ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Still from the movie

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ORDER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

FILM + INSTALLATION - 2021

MODERN AND

CONTEMPORARY DANCE

THE FILM

THE INSTALLATION

THE FILM is an interactive “choose your own adventure” dance film, typically viewed by each individual audience member alone via their own device, for however long and however frequently they like, from wherever they might be.  It is comprised of a multitude of film segments, but re-created with each new view as the viewer navigates their own unique way through their own unique version of the film.  This genre-reinventing project was born out of the pandemic, its limitations, affordances and inescapable realities.

Order in the Eye of the Beholder explores the notion of the variable nature of perception, the emergence, disappearance and transformation of logic, the difference between belonging to and belonging in, between interior and exterior perception, and movement patterns as they relate to identity. 

More about Order in the Eye of the Beholder interactive dance film

This visionary enterprise explores notions of dynamic variable nature of perception; emergence, disappearance and morphing of logic ;the difference between belonging and owning; lived experience versus perceived experience; and movement patterns, behavior patterns and identity.

 

Order is in the eye of the beholder… beauty is in the eye of the beholder… greatness is in the eye of the beholder.  We behold others, we are beheld by others, we behold ourselves.  Mystery, idolatry, and misunderstanding can easily arise as a result of misalignments of those three tiers.  Time affords us a kind of distance which allows a kind of external self-view.  Time does for our self-view what distance does for others’ views of us.  We can only ever see more or less, we will never see the whole picture, I’m not even sure if there is a whole picture to be seen.

Genuinely innovative

…as languidly sensual as it is sharply inquisitive...

breathing new life into a challenged art form.

- Deirdre Kelly, THE DANCE CURRENT

 

…like a cross between a video game and the Rorschach test... [McGuire] is a lusciously multi-dimensional mover, managing to be in a constant state of asymmetry as she shifts on and off her center of gravity moment by moment. The effect is like smoke rising from a candle.

- Cecly Placenti, THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST

THE LIVE-DANCE PERFORMANCE INSTALLATION is a complementary event to Order in the Eye of the Beholder (the film). It can be presented as an independent or integrated event.  A myriad of settings could be suitable venues for this presentation, since the duration, spatial treatment/organization, audience viewpoint(s), and sound will be uniquely designed to leverage the limitations and affordances of each setting.  The installation works best in public spaces, where audiences can happen upon it, choose to move around, and stay or go as they please. 

Examples of spaces for the installation

Museum - BMDP
Museum - BMDP

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Museum - BMDP
Museum - BMDP

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VENUE SUGGESTIONS - Installation
VENUE SUGGESTIONS - Installation

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Museum - BMDP
Museum - BMDP

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CREATION : 2021 (film - online) / 2021 (installation - in a museum)

DURATION : Variable (film and installation)
CREW : 1 dancer (installation)
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Variable (installation)
AUDIENCE SIZE : Variable (film and installation)
OUTREACH : Master classes and talk backs
with the audience

GO TO BELINDA MCGUIRE'S WEBSITE TO EXPERIENCE THE FILM

DIRECTION/CONCEPT/CHOREOGRAPHY

Belinda McGuire

COMPOSERS Ludwig van Beethoven and Nils Frahm

DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY Derrick Belcham and Belinda McGuire

PERFORMER Belinda McGuire

WHERE TO SEE BELINDA MCGUIRE
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