2011 GGPAA laureate has chosen her Mentorship Program protégée
This year, as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) Mentorship Program, internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer Margie Gillis has chosen to mentor choreographer and dancer Anne Plamondon. During this mentorship, Margie will help Anne develop her artistic vision.
“I recognized Anne Plamondon’s impressive talent immediately the first time I saw her,” said Margie Gillis, who is celebrating her 50-year career anniversary this year. “We haven’t spent a lot of time together, but whenever we do meet, we lose all sense of time. So it’s a real pleasure for me to support Anne in developing her ideas for her next creation.”
Established in 2008, each year the Mentorship Program invites a past laureate of the GGPAA—Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts—to share their expertise and insight with a professional artist (or artists) of their choice.
Margie Gillis is recognized internationally as one of Canada’s most influential Canadian choreographers and dancers. A courageous and free-spirited pioneer of modern dance, she has earned rave reviews and a loyal following throughout the world, and her unique naturalistic style has influenced an entire generation of dancers. Her many awards and distinctions include Officer of the Order of Canada and Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.
She established her company, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation, in 1981. Teaching, mentoring, and sharing her legacy and creative history are an integral part of her vision, and have provided the impetus for the Legacy Project, an initiative dedicated to ensuring the continuity of her repertoire.
“What’s important for me is to listen to the choreographer, the dancer and help them develop their idea in order to make it grow. I like to see how the architecture of their thinking, their emotions and their spirituality can be translated into the architecture of movement and the body,” Margie explained.
A prolific creator, she has choreographed more than 150 solos, duets and ensemble works addressing such topics as the feminine consciousness, the natural world, and the transformative process, all merging in a profound and powerful expression of humanism and emotion.
“Like me, Anne dances solos; like me, she choreographs for others; like me, she is socially engaged with femininity. She has given a lot of thought to what the future may hold, not just for herself but for others,” Margie observed.
“Honoured and enthusiastic”
“I was in my teens when I first saw Margie Gillis dance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec,” recalled Anne Plamondon. “Her performance opened my eyes to the transcendent power of dance to tell stories and move people. Later, Margie inspired me to try solo performance. She is a model of strength and inspiration.”
Before launching her solo career, Anne Plamondon was a key figure in Victor Quijada’s company RUBBERBAND, first as a performer, then as co-artistic director (2006–2015). She participated in the creation of a dozen stage works and three short films, and was instrumental in developing and teaching the RUBBERBAND method.
Anne has danced with major companies in Canada and internationally, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and Gulbenkian Ballet. Her career was notably marked by her time as a performer with the Kidd Pivot company, with which she appeared in four works by award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite, including the duet A Picture of You Falling (2016 Oliver Award). She has also worked with leading choreographers and directors, including Marie Chouinard, James Kudelka, Serge Denoncourt, Marcos Morau and Ina Christel Johannessen.
Passionate about the importance of transmitting dance to the next generation, Anne teaches at several dance schools across the country and has been the dance curator at Domaine Forget since 2018.
“I’m honoured and enthusiastic to be participating in the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program with this dance legend.”