Margie Gillis

Margie Gillis O.C., C.Q. is an internationally acclaimed Modern Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher/Mentor/Lecturer. She has been creating and performing her original works for over forty years. Her repertoire includes almost two hundred dances. Margie is primarily known for her solos shows and an ability to deeply touch her audiences. Her work reveals the different facets of the human soul. Her unique approach to teaching is called “Dancing from the Inside Out”. Her teaching encompasses professional dancers of excellence as well as non-dancers on a variety of subjects including, law and fairness, Conflict transformation, personal transformation.
Photo: Michael Slobodian

The Margie Gillis Dance Foundation supports her artistry, her vision, and ‘The Legacy Project’ a recent initiative to pass her unique knowledge and works to the next generations. Margie’s innovative work, has been published and a list is available on her web site. She is a socially committed artist and activist. Her numerous awards and distinctions include; Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation, Chevalier de L'Ordre du Québec and Officer of the Order of Canada. Margie Gillis’s Art, work, and research receives support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des Arts et des Letters du Quebec and the Conseil des Arts de Montreal.

Keynote Address

Experiential Wisdom
Saturday March 12 2:00pm

Exploring dance in relationship to life, art, compassion, conflict, fairness, and the transformative process. I have had a lifetime of passion in the art of dance. I will be sharing my path with you, and how I tumbled into this world of exploration in what I call experiential wisdom. I will outline the philosophy, questions and life events that shaped this path through dance. I will be speaking on several topics about ways to explore, and apply the wisdom of the body, including: The transformative path.
• Dancing from the inside out: The inner landscape, its relationship to the neuromuscular system and embodiment. The link between an idea and its manifestation in movement.
• Body wisdom as a resource for resolution, transformation, and integration.
• How to connect with body wisdom, and begin putting it to service.
• Respecting individual paths. The person who has the problem has the solution. How do we support ourselves, and others, to bring wisdom to the surface?
• Explorations in health and energy: listening to the body. Techniques that support health, and that facilitate troubleshooting, injury prevention, and convalescence, as well as parallels in the realm of conflict resolution.
• Nuance, curiosity, and respect as keys to overcoming anger, fear, and other attitudes that create blockages and impede expression. Relating to qualities and textures: fluidity, rigidity, strength, and softness.
• Risk-taking dynamics: developing intuition about when to risk, and expanding safety parameters.
• Responsibility toward creativity: freedom, art, self, and the audience.
• Art’s importance in the development of nuance, creativity, and excellence.
• Dance and support for individual or group challenges (social activism).
• The body’s eloquence: revealing new metaphors and honouring the mystery.
• The creator as listener: integrating the body’s intelligence and the body’s soul.
• The need for dialogue about the concepts of “community” and “excellence” in art.


Dancing From the Inside Out.
Saturday March 12 5:00pm

This master class is designed to encourage the dancer/participant to rediscover the wisdom of the body. We will incorporate many of the ideas expressed in the keynote address, translating them into motion and giving them practical application.
The health of the body will be at the core of the work. The class helps participants to discover solutions through movement by increasing openness toward continued exploration, understanding, and experimentation. Dancers are sensitized to the links between their intelligence, emotions, and physicality. Emphasis is on observing the natural kinetic process: how our “inner landscape,” generates electric impulses triggering the muscles, and how that natural dance is expressed and accessed. We will explore pathways, such as lines of energy. We will focus on connecting with the curiosity and awe that deepen, initiate, and inspire both movement and metaphor.