After four decades as a dancer, Margie Gillis continues to be enthralled with and inspired by art, culture and dance in particular.

To celebrate 2013 as the 40th anniversary of her performance career, she is debuting a new, original work called The Light Between. In it, she and her collaborators explore transition and transformation, joy and pain.

In the attached video, Gillis — an Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of a lifetime achievement honour at the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards — talks to CBC's Jelena Adzic about The Light Between and how art moves us all forward.  

"You go see the National Ballet and suddenly your body is so excited: the notion of excellence and line and articulation and possibility and genius is so compelling," she told CBC News.

"That's why we go. This is why we go: to learn, to understand."