...McGuire is a powerhouse as a dancer – creaturely, mercurial, sometimes downright weird. Her opening solo is Counter Cantor’s artistic acme – an arresting depiction of internal anguish set on a mostly dark stage. Portner’s choreography often looks like constrained improvisation; the body’s centre of gravity is low, the ribcage is frequently contracted and no movement is disconnected from the one that comes before. On a technical level, McGuire has more extension and openness than Portner, so her substitution had an interesting effect: The off-balance convulsions and robotic fiddling were greater, amplifying the sense of turbulence and doom."
"...unlike watching anything else; it is an intimate journey for the artist and the audience...gave us a chance to see McGuire’s arresting physicality and dynamic...invited us in, with a vivid and creative staging of some of her journey thus far...highly original and impressive, and is one of my highlights of the year in dance."
“…powerful and compelling… masterfully constructed… deep meaning…great courage and melancholy… revealing sinuous power... McGuire’s body channels a poised and direct energy; she conveys remarkable emotional resonance through subtle facial expression.
In sum, there is towering presence to this program of work. These solos are immense in a way that is reminiscent of ballet or even opera. Expansive movement, immense sounds and carefully crafted, elaborate scenic design makes the scale seem larger than life. This “bigness” has a layer of complexity. As solos, the works also convey a sense of privacy, urgency and immediacy that is intensely personal. McGuire’s skill as a performer is to tap a depth of feeling that is universally human, while remaining resolutely individual – springing from her own life, her body, her experience. Ultimately, these works are gloriously danced."
- Colleen Snell, The Dance Current (05-10-17)
- Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail (04-10-16)
- Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail (18-12-15)
“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 (10-12-15)
- Paula Citron, The Dance Current (19-12-14)
“Agile, with first-class training, nothing seems a stretch… McGuire tore in from the wings, barefoot, her tunic rippling like a flag. Scooping port de bras, rhythmic, weighted movement anchored the mingling impulses of nature and Chopin, as did her mesmeric gaze.”
- Fjord Review (23-11-14)
"Wise in her commissioning choices and courageous for undertaking such an ambitious work as a solo endeavour, Belinda McGuire succeeded brilliantly with The Heist Project. Hopefully, she will visit home again, bringing more choreographic treasures with her. "
- Marie France Forcier, The Dance Current (30-03-13)
"Even in a stark studio setting, without benefit of theatrical lighting, dancer Belinda McGuire is riveting. Her lithe body pulses with potential. It explodes into complex sequences of spiralling turns and jutting arms that suddenly give way to moments of intense stillness. Every movement is clearly articulated and purposeful, even when McGuire seems to be riding a wave of momentum."
- Michael Crabb, The Toronto Star (07-03-13)
“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...”
“Reaching her arms out, with her dark hair flying, Ms. McGuire uses momentum to whip in and out of twists that place her body on a ragged edge of control. There are stops and starts; she arches her back, allowing the fine muscles of her shoulders to glimmer, nearly ghostlike, in Kate Ashton’s lighting. Even though it ends up where it starts, there is a hint of mystery along the way.”