The Sacredness of Nature and Dance

By Margie Gillis

We know our planet and survival are threatened because we have lost our relation to the sacredness of life, the oceans, land, animals and plants, the air we breathe, and the water that sustains us. We have lost right relationship to our true selves and our interconnectedness.

Margie Gillis Photo by Cylla vonTiedemann, Hollyhock in Cortes Island,British Columbia

As we return to an understanding about the sacredness of the nature we live in, and indeed, that we are. We see more and more that we need to shift our relationship to the living world and its sacred place in our lives. How better than by using our piece of nature, our bodies, in dance? While we are alive we are inhabiting our bodies.  We are nature, and like all sentient beings, we have soul and spirit. Nature is infinitely intelligent, organised, intricate, and uses astonishingly complicated systems of function and design. Living and moving in awareness of our miraculous nature, is sacred. 

Sacred dance being the involvement, interconnection, and attention to meaning, in shape, quality and form. We ritualise and Intune. We marvel and transform. We enter the humility of being part of the miracle of life. We are connected to energy and healing. To profound joy and passage through the depths of sorrow. Dance is prayer in that it is expressing, honoring and bringing into focus the transformative processes and our connection to ideals and deities.

Small and large miracles are there for us to appreciate, illuminate and experience:

The shifting of what is stuck to what is fluid.

What is broken to a deeper healing and awareness or wisdom,that rises in us because of the brokenness. 

We enter states of grace, in tune with the essence of nature, life, and its divine qualities.

We engage with our better angels, the nature of who we are, and who we can become.

We find honesty and authenticity because the body does not lie.

I have always danced. I love dancing. I love creating and sharing the ritual (performance) of the nature of who we are, connecting to sacred through the sacred of my holy embodied practise.

Dance can be a profoundly personal experience of transformation. But when we dance for others, it is important that we become vessel for the prayer or healing to move through us and touch others. We start by remembering that indeed we are in ritual to illuminate for others. Our personal joy, or sorrow, or love allows us to understand our part of a full consciousness of universal joy, sorrow, love, or any other element of living experiences. We link ourselves up to a collective understanding. We are humbled and exalted in the transformative space, at service to others and to all. We begin to feel fully, the energies that move through and are shared by all sentient beings. We touch and live the transpersonal, transformative space. We are no longer personal, ‘just for me’, just ‘I’. We become Us. Here is the place where things shift out of stuck and the collective flows back to healing, possibility and compassionate living. We are engaged in ‘Experiential Wisdom’ and can feel more clearly our true paths. We can live our fuller prayer. We can walk well on this earth, and in this air and among all living changing elements. 

There is a place for the personal transformation in dance, but Oh! The exhalation of the transpersonal ritual! Bliss, practical, wonderful, Bliss! Grounded by our humanity and humility.

I wish you all blessings on your journeys and deep joy in the many ways of exalted sacred dance.

Margie Gillis

Margie Gillis. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann, St. John, New Brunswick

Margie Gillis: Internationally acclaimed modern dance artist, dancer/choreographer Margie Gillis has been creating original works for over thirty-five years. Her repertoire now includes more than one hundred pieces, which she performs as solos and nearly a dozen duets, and group pieces. 

Born in Montreal to a family of accomplished athletes, Margie Gillis could not have wished for a better environment in which to develop her talent. Showing a passion for dance early in life, she began ballet and gymnastic lessons at the age of three. In her youth, she trained and rehearsed on her own and later continued to learn in classes with such prominent teachers as May O’Donnell, Linda Rabin, Lynda Raino and Allan Wayne. Over the years, this charismatic dancer has developed a remarkable personal style. 

In 1979, Margie Gillis was invited to teach and give lectures in Maoist 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 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 participated in the creation of two of Martha Clarke’s major pieces in which she danced principal roles. She has performed with The Paul Taylor Dance Company in pieces created by her brother, the late dancer/choreographer Christopher Gillis. 

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 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. These are just a few of her many awards and achievements. To view all of Margie’s awards and accomplishments please go to:

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. 

Over the years, Margie Gillis has won over loyal audiences with her masterful interpretation of the different facets of the human soul. Relentlessly, she continues to develop her work through experimenting, teaching and creating. 

“I choreograph and dance from a place deep inside, in order to make visible the imagery that lives in my body. I endeavor to bring to light and to work with the essential, vulnerable and authentic parts of our nature. I have always been fascinated by the miraculous links that exist between physical expression and the intellect, between emotions and spirituality. Dance… a means to catharsis, transformation and discovery.” — Margie Gillis 

 Margie Gillis Dance Foundation

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Posted in Art, authentic Movem, Choreography, Dance, Drama, Global OutReach, modern dance, Sacred Dance Guild Journal

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