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Margie Gillis --Alberta Ballet


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#1 dido

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 03:35 PM

According to the Jan. DANCE magazine Ms Gillis will have a premiere on Feb. 13th (tomorrow).

I took a master class from her in a town pop. 5,000 about twelve years ago; tubby, untalented, uncoordinated etc, etc. I almost didn't go after I actually saw her dance. She was so kind, and so encouraging that I continued dancing and have always been very grateful.

I know we have lots of Canadians on the board, is anyone going? If so, please tell me all about it.

(I'd love to hear memories too.)

#2 sandik

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 09:03 AM

I haven't seen Gillis in several years, and so can't speak to her current performing, but I would disagree with your comment about a lack of talent. As an independent modern soloist working from an emotion/expressive base, she's frequently been at odds with contemporary taste, but I've always found her dancing to be extremely heartfelt and compelling. She's toured and taught extensively (she was the first modern dancer to teach in China) and, as you found, is very generous with her enthusiasm for the art form. Like Isadora Duncan, she leads with her heart. I'm sorry to hear that you were not impressed with her as a mover, since my memories of her are quite incandescent.

#3 mom2

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:45 PM

(I'm wondering if it wasn't the poster who felt untalented?)


I would love to see Gillis perform! Please do tell us about the performance if anyone out there sees it!

#4 dido

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 07:31 PM

Oh, YES, it was me that was tubby and untalented; I thought she was absolutely marvelous in every way. Only in rereading do I see how ambiguously worded it was. :lol:
Her performance has faded in my memory (because I have terrible visual memory) but I remember the feeling I had, incandescent describes it well.

#5 sandik

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 09:54 AM

Oops!

I'm so sorry to have misread your original posting, but glad that you were excited by Gillis' work.

#6 dido

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 05:46 PM

No problem, and entirely my fault I'm afraid. Generous was another word upon reflection that I feel I should confirm. I mean, really what was she doing in a town of 5,000 people, not only to give a performance, but a class as well? Our town has always supported the arts, but so much of the credit must be given to her. I distinctly remember that class as the only time in my dancing history when I felt unself-conscious and unjudged, and yet it was honest at the same time. A beautiful woman.

Do we really not have anyone from Alberta who's seen the performance?

#7 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:11 AM

Are there any Albertans on Ballet Talk? Speak up, please!

I saw Gillis a few years ago at the NBoC's "Inspired by Gould" program. She did a lovely solo to Gould's recording of The Goldberg Variations. The solo had real clarity to it; it was mercifully not bogged down by conceptualizing.

#8 mmded

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 06:13 AM

This Albertan will be seeing the Festival of New Works this Saturday in Edmonton. I always enjoy this presentation by Alberta Ballet even if I do not appreciate an individual piece. I am finding myself increasingly using the "Would I want to see my dancer in this particular production?" yardstick now that is becoming (dare I say it) more of a possibilty.

#9 mmded

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 03:10 PM

I saw Arias this weekend performed by Alberta Ballet, including the piece by Margie Gillis. It was light, pretty and pleasant to watch but I was not amazed by it. It was the fourth piece of the evening and I found I was starting to check out my watch. I was most intrigued by Lorraine Chapman's Hand over the Head. The dancers of Alberta Ballet always seem to put their full effort into presenting these new works every year. It received a very positive review in the local paper and I am by no means as knowlegable as many who post reviews on this forum. It was a pleasant enough performance but it will not be memorable to me.
Recently I was able to see Edouard Lock's Amelia (La La La Human Steps). I loved it on many different levels and would go out of my way to see another of his productions.


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