BIOGRAPHY

Internationally acclaimed modern dancer/choreographer, Margie Gillis has been creating original works for over forty years.  In 1979, Margie Gillis was invited to teach and give lectures in China, thus becoming the first artist from the West to introduce modern dance in that country after the Cultural Revolution. Two years later, she founded her own company, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation with the mission to support and present her artistic work. Her repertoire now includes more than one hundred pieces, which she performs as solos, duets and group pieces. Her international tours have taken her to Asia, India, Europe and the Middle East as well as across North and South America. In parallel to her solo work and on a regular basis, Margie Gillis collaborates on projects initiated by her peers. She has worked with some of the most important dance artists and companies of her time. Teaching is also an important aspect of her career. She offers workshops for dance professionals and students in various cities throughout the world, including New York where she has taught at the prestigious Juilliard School. She also gives lectures on dance and the role of art in society. With her unique approach of “Dancing from the Inside Out”, she teaches her art form to professionals and aficionados. She also mentors fellow artists of excellence and new dancers alike. Margie Gillis is a socially committed artist. She has been spokesperson for a number of organizations dedicated to the fight against AIDS as well as for OXFAM and the Planned Parenthood Foundation. She is a fierce defender of environmental causes.

Margie Gillis is an Honorary Cultural Ambassador for both the Quebec and Canadian governments. In 1988, she was the first modern dance artist to be awarded the Order of Canada. In 2001, she received a Career Grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for her exceptional contribution to Quebec culture. In the fall of 2008, Margie Gillis was chosen by the Stella Adler Studio of New York to receive their first MAD Spirit Award for her involvement in various social causes, and she was awarded the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts by a jury of her peers at the Canada Council for the Arts. In June of 2009, Margie Gillis was appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec. In May 2011, she received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation. In July 2013, she was promoted to an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2017, Margie received a Distinguished Artist Award (Dancer/ Choreographer) from the Montreal 2017 International Society for the Performing Arts.



PRIX ET DISTINCTIONS

2017

  • Distinguished Artist Award (Dancer/ Choreographer) from the Montreal 2017 International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA).

2013

  • Officer of the Order of Canada

2011

  • Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation
  • Recipient, Homage Prize from Artistes pour la paix (with Yvon Deschamps)

2009

  • Knight of the Ordre national du Québec

2008

  • MAD Spirit Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Actions by an Artist, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, New York

2008

  • Walter Carsen Prize, Canada Council for the Arts

2004

  • American Dance Guild Award

2001

  • Career Grant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

1998

  • Gemini Prize for Best Performing Artist on Film

1988

  • Member of the Order of Canada
  • Honorary title of Cultural Ambassador (Québec)
  • Honorary title of Cultural Ambassador (Canada)

She is also an Honorary Advisor for Dance Collection Danse and a member of the IPLAI Advisory Group (Institue for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas)

THE FOUNDATION’S MISSION STATEMENT

« Bless the continual stutter of the word being made into flesh. » – Leonard Cohen

At the time of its creation in 1981, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation chose this phrase as its motto and Margie Gillis was inspired by it to define the guiding principles that fuel the practice of her art: to manifest in dance a personal vision of the human condition, to have compassion for our weaknesses and vulnerability, to celebrate and encourage our capacity for hope, creation, wisdom, our power for healing, inspiration, truth and generosity. This is the artistic vision that the Foundation has had as its mission to support, protect and promote.