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THE HEIST PROJECT, is a one-woman dance event featuring newly commissioned works of five international artists.  Belinda McGuire will perform solo choreography by Sharon Moore (Canada), by Idan Sharabi (Israel/The Netherlands) and a collaboration between McGuire (Canada/USA) and Emio Greco|Pieter C Scholten (The Netherlands). 

Music by Derek Aasland, Alexander Balanescu, Jerome Begin, Joni Mitchell, lighting by Kate Ashton, and costume by Katharine Mallinson.

Belinda McGuire has been nominated for the 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for “Outstanding Performance” in The Heist Project.  For reviews and previews click here.


The project is likened to a jewel heist – meticulously imagined and designed, but ultimately the plan is brought to life or achieved through necessary spontaneity in response to the unfolding action.  This theme applies to Heist as a whole, and to the individual dances of which it is composed.  Though necessary spontaneity and reactivity are essential aspects of live performance, and therefore not uncommon, they serve as the backbone of these choreographers' work, piquing their curiosity, driving the creative process and shaping their artistic identity.  Though this element is valued by all five creators, it propels their choreography in very different ways.

As I engage in creation with each of my collaborators, I apply my own specialties while being pulled into unknown artistic territory.  So continuing with the heist metaphor, I am venturing where I may not belong, taking something that was not originally mine.  This boundary crossing happens from both sides of the collaboration, and creates an imbalance or tension making it inevitable for reactions, changes and involuntary innovation.   This is what I love.
To some degree all three works test the idea of choreographic design as a game, such that the events, actions and movements occur as a reaction to stimuli.  Essentially the stimuli are choreographed rather than the movement itself.  This not only allows but necessitates presence, sensitivity, reflex, and adaptability.*    

It is a thrill to be involved in such vital work, and to be aware that I, like my collaborators and even you, potential audience, am one of many elements of this large and vibrant equation, but an influential element, nonetheless.


I recently happened upon a brilliant episode of Radiolab, which looks at the the relevance of sports, games and general play to REAL LIFE - functioning as a proxy or microcosm, so that the player can practice and test existing rules or theories, while exploring and taking risks in this low-stakes, renewable scenario.  Interestingly, the most fulfilling games represent an ideal balance of freedom and form, where initial observance of structure is the way to marvelously uncharted territory, requiring resourcefulness and bringing about a delicious sense of empowerment.  This perspective struck me as being immediately applicable to the performing arts, and particularly pertinent to The Heist Project.