“It always wants something more of me,” Belinda McGuire said to me with a grin a few days before the opening of her solo performance, “Waltz Slaughterhouse Requiem.” Something true of dance, I thought, and perhaps especially true for solo work. McGuire's performance of her own choreography, a personal reflection, “Slaughterhouse/Requiem” was highly original and impressive, and is one of my highlights of the year in dance.
Sturm und Drang—2017 saw the dance world roiling with it, both on and off the stage. Israel’s culture minister hit the headlines for refusing arts funding to performances involving nudity; Palestinian-Syrian refugee Ahmad Joudeh made a prominent debut with the Dutch National Ballet after fleeing death threats from Islamic State; discord boiled over in Moscow as the director of the Bolshoi’s long-awaited “Nureyev” was placed under house arrest on what many suspect are trumped-up charges intended to punish him for celebrating the life of a gay man on stage—a conspicuous challenge to Putin’s ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’
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