Margie Gillis, 56, an icon of Quebec contemporary dance, is celebrating 37 years as a professional dancer. With Thread, Gillis explores the ebb and flow of energy, weaving strands of life and movement, exploring the aging body. Its fabric-like structure examines the connectedness to source and explores our own personal maze.
Thread takes a look at the ropes we cling to, the ties that bind, the strings we tie into knots, the knots we cut and the ribbons of which we are so proud in a fibrous structure whose narrative process evokes tapestry-making. (Agora de la Dance)
Amid corridors of light and cages of strings, a figure is born, attached at its core to four strings, from which it is then detached, like from an umbilical cord. The figure is untied from the source with the help of two other figures, shadow figures, a male figure and an old woman. In its liberated state, the figure dances along the stings on the floor to guitar sounds, like the movement of fingers on a string instrument. Then the strings tangle like spider webs. Dance movements navigate in and out of the web.
The figure is running through, and breaking through a corridor of strings. Appearing and disappearing from within. The corridor is turned into a box of strings, a maze. The figure dances, twirls, inside the maze.
The figure moves in front of a black screen, like a black mirror. Its shadow is its reflection. A male figure emerges from behind the screen, like her reflection that steps out and dances with her. The old woman figure emerges and holds her in an embrace.
The figure enters in a white gown with very long sleeves, like a straight jacket. Smooth movements are punctured by sharp jerks and convulsions. The figure gradually liberates herself from the straight jacket, and dances nude.
The figure, in a red dress, pulls out a long white sheet across the stage and drops it on the floor. Dancing, she traces patterns, like icing on a cake. She spins the cloth, making waves, twirling and spinning, until she slows down and descends onto the floor in the center of the stage, amid the white cloth. The figure experiences gradual breakdown of movement, until it ceases completely.
Thread / Filatures is performed at Agora de la Dance from April 28 to May 8, 2010.