New York City Ballet’s Here/Now festival proved an epic undertaking. Over the course of four weeks, the company presented 43 ballets created by 22 choreographers, all works made during the past four decades – a celebration of contemporary choreography, unprecedented in its size, depth, scope, and richness.
“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.
When Svetlana Lunkina, one of the world's foremost ballerinas, arrived in Toronto fresh from the Bolshoi Ballet just a few years ago, she was greeted with enthusiasm, and a touch of curiosity. What would Toronto do with a star of her stature? At 18, Lunkina was the youngest dancer to perform the role of Giselle in the history of the Bolshoi, and her debut cast no doubt about her future. She rocketed to principal and danced for fifteen years in the great theatre.