Review: Fashion Flourishes at Margie Gillis' The Light Between

A celebration of Margie Gillis' 40-year career, The Light Between danced it's way through Toronto and London earlier this month—here's what we thought.

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Photo by Michael Slobodian, Courtesy of Margie Gillis Dance Foundation


This season, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation launched a cross-Canada tour in celebration of Gillis’ 40-year performance career. Across those 40 years, Montreal-based dancer and choreographer  Margie Gillis has been recognized (and honoured) worldwide for her groundbreaking work in contemporary dance. The Light Between, a collaboration with Holly Bright, Marc Daigle and Paola Styronnot only explores universal human truths, but also seeks to investigate the artistic process. The main theme is transformation, which is mirrored throughout the work from the music to the costumes.

As the dancers movements evolve from short and disjointed to fluid and lyrical their costumes transform as well. Starting out in loose linen clothing, one by one they emerge clothed in soft, billowing satin skirts and dresses. The sensuality of their costumes is accentuated by the unique set—designed by painter-sculptor Randal Newman—featuring sheer curtains adorned with hands and arms that seem to reach out towards to audience. As the dancers jump and twirl across the stage, their floor-length gowns float and move with them, becoming a distinct and memorable aspect of the performance. Gillis has no doubt created a unique choreographic language that is only enhanced by such fashionable flourishes.

This month, The Light Between premiered, in Ontario, at the Fleck Dance Theatre in Toronto and the Grand Theatre in London. Learn more about the Foundation and tour at margiegillis.org