What binds micro to macro, macro to micro?

Lucy M. May is a dance artist and illustrator born in Eqpahak/Wolastokuk/Fredericton and based in Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal since 2003. Improvisation resides at the heart of her work as a dancer, creator, and teacher, nourished by experiences performing with Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Margie Gillis, in CHSLDs via Mouvements de passage, as well as through her practice of Krump since 2016. She approaches choreography and movement pedagogy as a means to explore the materiality of human attention and our relationships to place and to each other.

Lucy M. May © Calope

The seeds of Lu’s creative process were planted in 2016-17, during a three-month-long land-based artist residency entitled Esemplastic Landing in her native province of New Brunswick. Programmed across Canada, Lu’s choreographic works include the installations and performances The Conditions (2024); the solo Anima / Darkroom (2019) with Krump artist 7Starr, for which he received the Révélation prize at Les Prix de la danse de Montréal in 2020; and Vivarium (2014/17) in collaboration with Noémie Avidar, Patrick Conan, and Paige Culley. She is currently developing a new work entitled A Third Thing with choreographers Nate Yaffe and Simon Portigal. Her work has been shown across Canada in programmes and festivals including La Chapelle, Gutta Zone, Festival TransAmériques, Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée, Ibrida Pluri (Montréal), Fluid Fest (Calgary), New Dance Horizons (Regina), La Nouvelle scène (Ottawa), Kinetic Studio (Halifax), Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival (New Brunswick), and Impact Fest (Moncton), as well as informally in Sweden. On commission, Lucy has created pieces and in-situ work for professional schools, recreational programmes, and events, including Diffusion En Scène + Musée d’art contemporaine des Laurentides, Atlantic Dance Festival + DansEncorps, Wants & Needs, and École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM).

As a freelance dancer, she has recently collaborated with Erin Hill, We All Fall Down, Ariane Boulet | Le Radeau, Susanna Hood, La Tresse, and Margie Gillis. She has been an affiliate of the iconic Canadian choreographer’s Legacy Project since its inception in 2015, and has been entrusted with two solos: The Complex Simplicity of Love (2003) and Give Me Your Heart Tonight (1983). Between 2009–2016, Lucy was a member of Compagnie Marie Chouinard, touring internationally to four continents, and dancing over two hundred performances of twelve works. In that context, Lucy created roles for six full-length choreographies, performed the solo FOXP2, appeared alongside Manuel Roque in the virtual immersive performance CORPS CÉLESTES at Montréal's SATosphère, and in the film Le Sacre du Printemps (Dir. Mario Rouleau, 2013).

Lucy M. May © Calope

Her movement facilitation has included workshops and classes for people of all ages and levels of experience, through numerous dance organizations such as EDCM (Montreal), Kinetic Studio (Halifax), Fada Dance (Regina), The Love-In (Toronto), Studio 303 (Montréal), Springboard Performance (Calgary), Saint Thomas University (Fredericton), and Regroupement québecois de la danse (Québec, Sherbrooke, Laurentides). Inspired by forms of practice learned through Montreal’s Krump & Hip hop communities, she co-created Off_Script with dance artist Nindy Banks: an intercultural context for dancers to practice their solo improvisation and freestyle. In 2023, Lu created the WIPSHOP, a process-based workshop for dance professionals, to delve further into the possibilities offered by the Krump form of a “labb-session.”

Lucy’s studies in Contemporary dance were completed at l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and the Rotterdam Dance Academy in The Netherlands. As Pluto aka Ravage Grouch, she has trained and battled in Krump in Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, Belgium, Paris, and New York, receiving mentorship from her Big Homie, Ja “Jigsaw” James Britton Johnson aka Ozkar the Grouch, since 2018.

In recent years, the link between Lu’s dance and drawing practices has led her to create installations and to moonlight as an illustrator, primarily for companies and choreographers in the dance milieu.

︎︎︎ drawing ©looumms

We would like to express our respect and gratitude to the traditional stewards of the stolen lands upon which these works were created: the Anishinaabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, Kanien’kehá:ka, Mi’kmaq, Mississaugas of the Credit, Peskotomuhkati, Sámi, Wabanaki, and Wolastoqey Nations and Confederacies. Creating dance and art relies on funding and resources, and all wealth comes from the earth. Land back.