Margie Gillis is unquestionably one of the greatest artists Canada has ever produced.
Her appearance at ArtSpring in a new dance work on Saturday, October 19 marks fourty years of remarkable achievement as a dancer, choreographer and inspiration to several generations of young artists intent on exploring how movement can reveal and express the inner life of the self.
Margie is best known as a solo dancer, but her hundreds of works include duets, small and large group pieces for the stage, as well as work in film and television.
The new work she brings to ArtSpring, called Bulletins from Immortality, explores the world and mind of poet Emily Dickinson. The work presents distinguished American actress Elizabeth Parrish playing the role of Dickinson, and Margie dancing the emotive and spiritual story of the poet’s life.
“It is a huge honour for us to welcome Margie Gillis to Salt Spring,” says ArtSpring Artistic Director George Sipos. “Few artists in our country have had as important and as enduring an impact. Every new work from Margie is an event and an exploration.”
In 1987 Margie Gillis was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and earlier this year was further honoured by becoming an Officer of the Order. This is on top of receiving the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2011.
In addition to her exploration of the transformative potential of human movement, she has always been a socially committed artist, acting as a spokesman for OXFAM and Planned Parenthood and a number of organizations dedicated to the fight against AIDS.
On Salt Spring, Margie will give several workshops in the days leading up to the October 19 performance, both for GISS dance students and for community dancers. Those interested in taking part in the community workshop should contact Sonia Langer at firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.
The performance of Bulletins from Immortality will be followed by a reception at ArtSpring hosted by Country Grocer so the audience can meet Margie Gillis and Elizabeth Parrish personally.