Q&A with Belinda McGuire

Belinda McGuire, whose stunning photo graces our Festival poster this season, took a few minutes to answer some questions about her upcoming performance at On the Stage, Saturday, June 3, 8 pm. We recommend getting your tickets to this show ASAP, as they’re selling fast! 

GD: Belinda, why did you make the piece you’ll be performing at the Festival?

I commissioned Sharon B. Moore to make Anthem for the Living as a part of “The Heist Project,” which included two other solo works by other choreographers, danced by me. I was driven to immerse myself in work that is meticulously imagined and designed, but ultimately brought to life or achieved through necessary spontaneity in response to the unfolding action. Sharon’s work built a perfect arena for this exploration.

GD: How long did it take to make Anthem for the Living, and what was the studio process like?

We broke ground on Anthem in early 2009 and continued working in 1-3 week-long intensive creation periods every few months until the piece premiered in 2011.  In between the creation periods, I rehearsed on my own whatever material already existed.

GD: How does your piece relate to cultural trends or other works of art or current events or history?

One colleague, upon seeing a run of the work in rehearsal, said something to the effect of “she is every man and every woman and every child.”  It’s also about life and death – two things that, of course, we all face.

GD: What is something you’d like to tell the audience about your piece that they won’t be able to find out in the program?

I don’t think there’s anything else they need to know. I’d be happy to talk about it with anyone afterwards, but it doesn’t need any preamble.

GD: Why is dance important to you? Why should it be important to others?

Movement can be an immediate, visceral, complete and efficient form of communication. It’s a powerful and compelling tool to wield and also to behold as the audience.  Not always, of course… like any case of craftsmanship, it needs to be applied in the right way, in the right context with the right intentions, but even still things can go awry.  I’m trying to say that dance has had a huge impact on me (as an audience member), so my artistic mission is to make more opportunities for potentially impactful work to be created and performed for others.

 above and top: Belinda McGuire; choreography: Sharon B. Moore; photo by Jubal Battisti

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