Dance is a language — and icon Margie Gillis is teaching her vocabulary to a new generation

Dance legend Margie Gillis is harnessing her powerful energy and infusing a new generation with her movement and her spirit.

'It's wonderful to pass this work on and to see them take it and keep it alive with their own vision of it'

Photos courtesy of Margie Gillis Dance Foundation. (Left: Lois Greenfield/Right: Michael Slobodian)

Margie Gillis is a celebrated dance artist, working for more than 45 years. That means that in addition to her choreography and signature movements, she has a presence and a style that combine to distinguish her from other dancers.

Now, she's in a new phase of her career — a little bit older and ready to pass on the elements of her individual language to a new generation of dancers. She's energized by the development, saying, "I'm just feeling really blessed about the aging process. I've already danced as a young woman, so it's exciting to dance as an older woman."

Watch the video:

Dance legend Margie Gillis


2 years ago
Margie Gillis takes you through the Legacy Project where she teaches her style to the next generation of dance artists. Filmmaker: Louis-Martin Charest 4:08

She's sharing her knowledge and moves in Montreal as part of the Legacy Project, where she works with a group of carefully selected and already remarkable dancers to create a performance. And as you'll see in this video by filmmaker Louis-Martin Charest, the process is as much about capturing a feeling as it is about learning specific steps. When the work is done, the artists involved can fold what they've learned into their own continuing dance practice.

The composer in this piece is Erich Kory, and the Legacy Project dancers are Geneviève Boulet, Alexandra Caron, Marc Daigle, Caitlin Griffin, Lucy M. May, Troy Ogilvie, Susan Paulson, Alisia Pobega and Neil Sochasky.

Find out more about the Legacy Project here. And you can follow Margie Gillis here.

(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)

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Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.