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Unfolding the Dark Side of Art: A Journey through Movement and Dance

An Interview with Margie Gillis





 Photo by Tamara Fiset

   Margie Gillis is a choreographer and performer of more than one hundred solo dance works. She has earned rave reviews in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and in South and North America. A passionate and steadfast artist, she has worked with the greatest dancers and artists of her time either including them in her own personal projects or by participating in the productions of her peers. Concerned with the durability of her unique approach to art, Margie teaches often in different institutions such as the Juilliard School of New York.



This dialogue is Part Two of a special trilogy series I’m hosting entitled, Holy Irreverence: Exploring the Dark Side of the Sacred. I've written a blog style article reflecting on art and it's relationship to the Dark Side in preparation for this dialogue, which you can read here.


Margie Gillis’ masterful interpretation of the different facets of the human soul has won her loyal audiences over the years. Unwaveringly, her work continues to develop through performances, experimentations, teaching and creating.


In this dialogue, Margie and I discuss the role of the dark side as it shows up in art, and also the role of art in personal and cultural transformation. We explore the unique way that movement and dance can engage and guide us through the rich territory of the dark side and give us a channel for supporting transformation and growth.

This is a powerful clip from one of Margie's dance performances entitled, "Thread."







Margie Gillis has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1988 and she was appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 2009. Also, the Canadian and Quebec governments have each given her the honorary title of Cultural Ambassador. In 2001, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to national culture, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec awarded her their Career Grant.


During the 2008-2009 season, which spotlighted the 35th anniversary of Margie Gillis’ career, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded her the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and the famous Stella Adler Studio of New York gave her their first MAD Spirit Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Actions by an Artist. In May 2011, she received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation.

Visit Margie's website at:



Photo on top left of page is Margie Gillis, photographed by Michael Slobodian.

Photo on top right of page is Margie Gillis, photograped by Lois Greenfield



 *This Dialogue was recorded on June 4, 2012




To listen to more conversations in this Dialogue Series click here.

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