Anima / Darkroom

EN // On a mission to breach the singular self, Anima / Darkroom pitches towards a trans-personal catharsis with both vulnerability and brute force. Hosted in the belly of the theatre, this Krump solo feeds a hunger for communion. The celebrated krump artist 7Starr, performs in dialogue with light, silence, noise, and darkness, freestyling with his raw lexicon. He forges into dark places, carrying us across the gaps that seem to separate us. A groundbreaking work that catalyzes Contemporary dance and Krump practices in a bid for emotional reciprocity. The effort to listen and be heard, to bear witness and be seen, reverberate in an imperfect harmony. Do you see me?

FR // Ayant pour mission de percer le moi singulier, Anima / Darkroom se lance vers une catharsis trans-personnelle avec à la fois vulnérabilité et force brute. Accueilli dans le ventre du théâtre, ce solo de Krump assouvit une soif de communion. 7Starr, artiste de Krump renommé, dialogue avec la lumière, le silence, le bruit et l’obscurité, en libre jeu avec son lexique. Il s’enfonce dans des lieux sombres, nous entraînant au-delà des brèches qui semblent nous séparer. Une œuvre inédite qui catalyse les pratiques de la danse Contemporaine et de Krump dans une tentative de réciprocité émotionnelle. L’effort d’écouter et d’être entendu, de témoigner et d’être vu, se répercute dans une harmonie imparfaite. Me vois-tu ?


– November 4-5-6 novembre, 2021 – La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins, Coaccueil du Théâtre Catapulte + Théâtre du Trillium – Ottawa

– November 11 novembre, 2021 – Salle Émile-Legault – Montréal (Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée)

– November 18 novembre, 2021 – Salle Iro Valaskakis-Tembeck, Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – Montréal (Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée)

– November 25 novembre, 2021 – Maison des arts de Laval – Laval

– December 8 décembre, 2021 – Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montréal (Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée)


– May 26-27-30-31 + June 3-4, 2021 – Festival TransAmériques – Montréal

– March 3 – Diffusion En Scène – Théâtre Gilles Vigneault, Saint-Jérôme
Cancelled due to Covid

Caravane solos, Cité d’art de Charlevoix, La Malbaie. 19 août au 6 septembre, 2020 (Excerpt 10 min)

Festival TransAmériques, Montréal, May 22-23, 26-27, 2020 (60 min) – cancelled due to Covid-19

Breakin’ Convention, London, UK, May 2-3, 2020 (35 min) – cancelled due to Covid-19

World Première, La Chapelle & Gutta Zone, Montréal, Sept. 26-27-30 + Oct 1, 2019 (60 min)

SPARK Series, Montréal, June 2, 2019 (Excerpt , 30 min)

ELAN Québec, Théâtre Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, Nov 14, 2019 (Excerpt , 3 min)

Centre d’art Diane Dufresne, Repentigny, April 4, 2019 (Excerpt , 20 min)

New Dance Horizons, Regina, Nov. 7, 2018 (Video excerpt, 7 min)

Fluid Fest, Calgary, November 2-3, 2018 (Study for Anima / Darkroom, 38 min)


« Un cri du cœur pour être entendu » — Journal de Montréal

“[A] unique emotional experience that cannot adequately be put into words, fittingly portrayed through the unparalleled power of dance.” — Montreal Theatre Hub

“[E]very last detail is granted a purpose, everything is coordinated and put to good use.” — Montreal Theatre Hub

“[A] non-narrative collection of snapshots into a life of infinite complexity; there is a darkness to it, a violence even, but also something uplifting, a gentle kind of empowerment.” — Montreal Theatre Hub

“The performer is endlessly engaging, in speech and in silence, in movement and in stillness, and even in absence. This is a chance to witness something truly special.” — Montreal Theatre Hub

« …un moment dansé d’une puissance rare. » — VOIR

« …le corps du danseur se fait réceptacle d’une tension, l’air se fait électrique. Pendant l’heure qui suit, on assite à un dialogue constant. Entre deux disciplines, entre deux états. » — VOIR

« Ce seul être laisse transparaître une palette de vécus, et on se voit transporté entre les extrêmes. Dans ce spectre d’expressions, l’humour et le grotesque se manifestent dans un jeu corporel et facial impressionnant, avec l’aboutissement aux antipodes: l’agressivité et la vulnérabilité. » — VOIR

« C’est comme donner à voir son âme dans «cette boîte noire», dans ce va-et-vient entre obscurité et lumière qui dévoile et cache en même temps. » — VOIR

“Compassion, excellence and transformative art is at play in this work. […] 7Starr […] is an extraordinary performer, shapeshifter of excellence, a master of his craft. Lucy M. May has created the perfect frame in which to gather our focus, to honour and illuminate this unique genius. All of the collaborators are much to be congratulated for their seamless and radiant contributions. The audience tumbles into a world of raw honest strength and compassion. One finds oneself held by revealed truth and in awe of human experience. It is storytelling of authenticity and power. The work resonates and remains with me, and still has me marveling weeks later.” — Margie Gillis


A production of / Un spectacle de : Lucy M. May

Choreographed by / Chorégraphie par : Lucy M. May & 7Starr

Performer / Interprète : 7Starr

Concept and Direction / Concept et direction : Lucy M. May

Lighting Design / Conception d’éclairages : Jon Cleveland

Sound Design / Conception sonore : Patrick Conan

Original Musics / Musiques originaux : Patrick Conan & Big Rulez aka God’sHand (Marion Arinloye)

Costume Design / Conception de costumes : Frederique “Pax” Dumas

Artistic advisors / Conseils artistiques : Ellen Furey, Alexandra “Spicey” Landé

Outside eye / Oeil extérieur : Valérie “Taminator” Chartier, Nindy Banks, Etienne Lou

Technical direction / Direction technique : Jon Cleveland

Rehearsal assistant and Stage support / Assistance aux répétitions et sur scène : Mathilde Mercier-Beloin

Mentorship / Mentor : Ola Maciejewska

Voice coach / Coaching vocal : Etienne Lou

Sound consultant / Consultant sono : Guillaume Côté

Voices / Voix : Goof, Ja James Britton Johnson, Shean Elie-Leconte AKA Shany Boubou HeavySoul, Tommy “Sin’cere” Nuguid

Communications Assistance communications : Andréanne Samson

Administrative Assistance administrative : Margarita Herrara-Dominguez

Photographer / Photographe : Elias Touil, Do Phan Hoi, Tommy “Sin’cere” Nuguid

Videographers / Vidéastes : Matt McKinney, JaKnows, Emily Gan, Matt Maaskant, Kinga Michalska, Kimura Byol

Video editing / Montage : Eduardo Menz

World Premiere / Première mondiale: La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, Montréal, le 26 septembre 2019

Partners (EN)

Anima / Darkroom benefitted from a technical residency at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV, Maison des Arts de Laval, and at La Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, member of the Accès culture network. Created in residence and with the generous support of Studio 303, le Centre d’art Diane Dufresne in collaboration with Diffusion Hector-Charland, The Third Floor Projects / Usine C, Danse à la Carte and Studio Illest Drive. The creation of this work was made possible thanks to the financial support of Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Partenaires (FR)

Anima / Darkroom a bénéficié de résidences techniques à La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV, Maison des Arts de Laval et à La Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, qui est membre du réseau Accès culture. L’oeuvre a été créée en résidence au Studio 303, au Centre d’art Diane Dufresne en collaboration avec Diffusion Hector-Charland, aux Projets du 3e / Usine C et à Danse à la Carte. Merci Studio Illest Drive. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec et le Conseil d’art du Canada de leur soutien.



Vladimir “7Starr” Laurore is a pioneer of the Canadian Krump scene. In 2005, he co-founded the first Krump crew in Canada, Bzerk Squad. 7Starr is also the creator of Gutta Zone, the first and biggest major Krump festival in the country. He has been a guest competitor/judge on both national and international platforms in major competitions such as The International Illest Battle in Paris, European Buck Session in Germany, The Phitted Talk in the USA and Royal Rumble in Switzerland, to name a few. He has worked with Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, and Moment Factory among others, not to mention his TV and movie appearances and several performances. 7Starr is also recognized for his community involvement in underprivileged schools, charity organizations, and community centers. Currently, he is president of the Montreal Krump Alliance, a non-profit organization that specializes in promoting Krump culture across Canada. In 2017, he received the Victor Martyn Lynch Staunton award given by the Canada Council for the Arts for outstanding artistic achievement by Canadian artists. In 2019, he has embarked on a collaboration with emerging contemporary choreographer, Lucy M. May for Anima / Darkroom, an hour-long solo performance.

Jon Cleveland is a Montreal-based Lighting Designer/Visual Artist. Working in theatre and dance he has worked with The Segal Centre for The Arts, The National Arts Centre, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Tangente, Cabal Theatre, Scapegoat Carinivale, Susanna Hood, Lucy M. May, Rabbit in the Hat, Malik Nashad Shapre, and Kim-Sanh Chau among others. His design for Tragic Queens with Cabal Theatre was nominated for a 2017 META award for outstanding lighting design. When not designing, he Tours as TD and head of lighting with the Tashme Project and Lara Kramer on tours around Canada, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Montréal-born Patrick Conan is a drummer and percussionist who has been playing music professionally for more than 20 years. Since 2013, he has composed music for Contemporary dance works including The Johnsons, Dunno Wat U Kno, and Earthling by Nate Yaffe, Sarah- Ève Grant-Lefebvre’s research project Danse ta vie, and Vivarium and Anima / Darkroom with longtime collaborator Lucy M. May. Patrick has played as a musician in numerous projects and toured Canada, the United States, and Europe. Notable past acts include Tricky Woo, Sackville, The Carnations, Valleys, The Harbourcoats, Molly Sweeney, Traces, and Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush. His compositions use software manipulation, field recordings, and found sounds. He completed his studies in Classical percussion at Vanier College in Montréal.
COMPOSITIONS – Big Rulez aka God’s Hand (Marion Arinloye) is a France-based creative professional with 10+ years experience in visual marketing & music composition, with an Audio Engineering Certificate from Saint-Denis Lycée Suger. His music production, beat-making, and audio engineering and sound design has been used in television and theatre/live-stage productions. He has worked with Compagnie Makiato, the Madrootz Association and with upcoming artists. A Krump dancer himself, he has released over 25 albums as Big Rulez.

PAX is a multidisciplinary performing artist and creator. She has been an innovator of the hip hop dance community . She is a fashion artist and magazine designer . She is the founder of A.MUSE, a cross media production company whose mission is to showcase culture and art. She is continuously committed to education and community building, focused on creating platforms for self-expression.

Available for touring 2021-2022 season.
Performance respects Covid-19 sanitary measures.

Disponible dans la saison 2021-2022.
Ce spectacle qui respecte les mésures sanitaires Covid-19.

Performers / Interprètes : 1 onstage / sur scène + 2 backstage / arrière-scène

Length / Durée : 60 min. Without intermission / Sans entracte

Spectators / Gauge : 50-300

Languages / Langues : English and/or French ; anglais et/ou français



Esemplastic Landing

Nomadic Residency

I would like to acknowledge that this project takes place on the very beautiful traditional and unceded lands of the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq, of the Wabanaki Confederacy. I acknowledge that my family are immigrants to this place, that I am a first generation New Brunswicker and a seventh generation Canadian, and that my lineage ties me to the industries of our settler culture (pulp and paper, commercial agriculture, fine arts, science).

Our people and our way of life have divided and itemized a wholeness into finite parcels of property. We have transformed the animate landscape and more-than-human communities into a collection of objects. I acknowledge that the steps I take here won’t remove me from this earth or undo what has been done, so I walk here to discover in my body the relationship between my colonial heritage and the possibility of decolonization. I dance to imagine these apparently political notions as states of being, as ways of moving through the world. I recognize imperial patterns written into my very gestures, and imagine how decolonization might dance.

As I move, I try to engage in the work of “coming to our senses,” as writes David Abram. I am reminded of human fallibility and my own smallness. I recall the essential nature of community, both human and more-than-human. As I dance, I try to remember my place again in the rhythmic cycles of the living world, but also to situate my relationship to the communities who were here long before mine. May these dances be in dialogue with them, and may they be in service of restoring these lands to what they once were, and to what they can still become.   — Fredericton, July 9, 2017


SACKVILLE, New Brunswick : September-October 2016
MONCTON, New Brunswick : November 2016 + March 2017
FREDERICTON, New Brunswick : April 2017

Updates https://www.facebook.com/lucymmay.dancer/


Lucy’s project Esemplastic Landing borrows the poet Coleridge’s word, meaning “molding into one.” As the flow of a river is inseparable from its banks, Lucy’s movements are both shaped by and carved into the Wolastoq (Saint John) River, the Petitcodiac watershed, the ubiquitous forest, intermittent outcrops of asphalt and marshland, and the Bay of Fundy.

In 2016-2017, after seven years of performing around the world, contemporary dancer Lucy M. May returns to her Maritime homeland as an Artist-in-Residence. In and between New Brunswick’s southern towns and cities, Lucy will move through grass, mud, water, and wind for three months, across asphalt and train tracks. Her research will lead to a dance practice contiguous with the land, and shared with the community.

Physical Practice

Inspired by David Abram’s book The Spell of the Sensuous, Lucy will practice techniques for heightening her senses and steadying her attention. Abram’s views on language, sentience, and magic consolidated her vision of dance as an oral tradition, and the dancer as a conduit. She takes further cues from writer Lewis Hyde (The Gift), biomechanist Katy Bowman (Move Your DNA), filmmaker Werner Hertzog (Of Walking in Ice), as well as choreographers and performers such as Eiko Otake and Simone Forti (Handbook in Motion).

Esemplastic Landing proposes an extreme shift in scenery and a radical reduction of technical and choreographic structures for Lucy—a simplicity that allows her to question how a danced language (like an alphabetic one) encodes or decodes a culture—how gestural conventions draw near or distance a person from their environment.

She self-documents the work in drawings, a kind of ongoing notation of her improvisations, in voice recordings and conversations, avoiding written note-taking as much as possible.

Performance Practice

Seeking to strengthen her ties to New Brunswick and its communities, Lucy will walk with others through local landscapes. She will make “kinetic field recordings” of the stories surfacing in bones, muscles, and organs, while traversing short and long distances together. Other kinds of showings and interactions will be developed as the residency evolves, giving Lucy space and time to experiment sensing, showing, and being seen. All open-air performances will be gifted to the community, free of charge. Visit Facebook for more information.

Please contact Lucy below or on Facebook to participate in walks or other activities. Alternatively, connect with Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, The St. John River Society, and Professor Thaddeus Holownia at the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University, who are helping Lucy share Esemplastic Landing with New Brunswick communities. Lucy is grateful for the support and collaboration of these partners, as well as for the generosity of Theatre New Brunswick.

Lucy M. May thanks the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support.



Lucy M. May / Photo © Nans Bortuzzo

Performers on stage: 4
Length : 90 min
Location : site-sensitive installation


EN // Meditative and cyclic, lo-tech and detailed, Vivarium is a slow-unfolding of sound, movement and gardening. Four artists respond to the location  where they perform. The work values alternative ways of attending to, moving, and being moved through the world. We both displace and cohabit with the human and non-human presences in spaces. Our score takes cues from the drama of a garden, as we contend with our conflicting roles as both fertilizers and colonizers — as artists and gentrifiers. Elements found on site are exploited and tended to, as the audience is invited to slow down and look closer.

”Refined [and] sensitive work”

FR // Méditation ludique et cyclique, VIVARIUM s’allie à la vie sous-estimée qui persiste partout. Le public visite un chantier créatif sur lequel quatre artistes se penchent vers les riverains, les fourmis, les briques et les pissenlits. Deux danseuses oscillent bras et troncs comme des scarabées ou des héliotropes — elles piétinent, se cachent et se compostent. Un musicien joue des enregistrements réalisés sur le terrain et crée un paysage sonore. Une scénographe réalise un jardin d’objets trouvés. À l’abri de la vitesse, Vivarium colonise et pollinise, engendre et contaminent l’écologie existant.

“Palpable… Intriguing. The artists create an atmosphere, a world that comes to life”

Les Salons de l’est / Home Theatre Festival, Hochelaga, Montréal, May 25, 2014
Suoni per il Popolo, Montréal, Québec, École Nationale de théâtre, Montréal, June 14th, 2017
Parcours danse, Edifice Wilder, Montréal, November 28, 2017
Impact Fest, Atlantic Ballet Canada, Moncton, January 19, 2018
Open Studio Series Special Event, Kinetic Studio, Halifax, January 22, 2018
Rewilding, Tangente Danse, Montréal, March 29-30-31, April 1, 2018


Co-created and performed by / Création et performance par :
Noémie Avidar (Scenography and installation / Scénographie et installation)
Patrick Conan (Composition and sonic environment / Composition et environnement sonore)
Paige Culley (Movement and costumes / Mouvement et costumes)
Lucy M. May (Movement and costumes / Mouvement et costumes)
Photographers & Videographers:
Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Nans Bortuzzo, Emily Gan, Erin Fortier, María A. Múnera, Kevin M. Photographer
Outside eyes:
Sasha Kleinplatz, Peter James
Residencies / Support in kind:
Jouer Dehors — La danse sur les routes du Québec, Bête Sauvage, Monument National / La SERRE- arts vivants, Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI), École nationale de théâtre du Canada, Tangente Danse, Atlantic Ballet Canada. Vivarium was created in Montréal, Québec. This island was settled and is still settled. It has many names. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation call it Tiohtiá:ke. We would like to acknowledge the people who have tended to this place since time immemorial—the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg (Algonquin).
Extra thanks
Luc Pelletier, Erin Fortier, Nathan Yaffe, Stephen Glasgow, Marie-Chantale Desrosiers, and all who contributed to our fundraising campaign:
Caisse Desjardins de la culture
Stephen May
Julie Scriver
Charles & Zipper Scriver
Jean Conan
Nicola Poplawski
Thea Culley
Patrick Leonard
Nancy Bauer
Margaret Boyle
Erin Fortier
Sarah Hansen
Do-Ellen Hansen
Sharon May
Nathalie Senécal
Claire May
Lesandra Dodson
Linda Rabin
Troy Ogilvie
Julia Hansen
Toni Smith
David Rancourt
Lisa-Anne Ross
Alexander MacSween
Jalianne Li
Isabelle Poirier
Dorothea Saykaly
Alejandro de Leon
Andrew Turner
Susanna Hood
Marilène Bastien
Julie Caissie
Claudia Fancello
Louise Birdsell-Bauer
Lindsey Laidlaw
Marnie Pomeroy
Produced by Lucy M. May with the assistance of Bête Sauvage, Noémie Avidar, Paige Culley, and Patrick Conan.
Jouer Dehors 2017 & 2018 | La Danse sur les routes du Québec

Le Goulet

Lucy M. May/Llamaryon – Marion Desjardins, Le Goulet, 2017.

Performers on stage: 1
Length : 7 min
Spectators : 100-300

Short solo work, drawing on New Brunswick research on emotion and land.

Looking for the toe-hold deep in the water
for tethers between what is lost
and what finds me.
At the centre of the feel
is a hard seed and six dogs.
I saw her body slip between
the shore and dissolution.
We blinked to keep ourselves
from being electrocuted
and drank from the bottle,
but the bugs sucked us raw.
Sink to rise, witch.

la petite scène 10e édition – inquiétante étrangeté, LE CERCLE LAB VIVANT, Québec (QC), Canada, October 25, 2017.

Crédit vidéo : Olivier Laflamme
Creation & Performance: Lucy M. May
Sound: Ocean Sounds

Rustlin’ Vessels

Toronto Dance Community Love-In // Photo © @teenteenfush

Rustlin’ Vessels is a movement lab. Lucy guides physical explorations contaminated by the language of somatics, science, and poetry. Participants will work alone, in pairs and as a micro-community through improvisations of various forms, including freestyle composition, the use of analogy, witnessing, sign posts, systems, and touch. Current proposals constellate around possibilities : the porousness of time and place; a difference between feeling and sensation; music as a map. We will practice tensile power and muscular resistance. Bumping through big ideas, paying attention to detail, to each other, and to how we are positioned, let it be resolved that dancing is a way of thinking in the world.

Toronto Dance Community Love-In, Toronto, January 9-13, 2017
Kinetic Studio, Halifax, March 19, 2017
Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival, Saint John, June 25, 2017
Movement Educators’ Forum, Montréal, November 2, 2017
Studio 303 Pro Workshop Series, Montréal, June 11-15, 2018
Fluid Fest — Calgary, November 1, 2018
Fada Dance — Regina, November 4-6, 2018
Artemis Dance – Fredericton, October 2019
Saint Thomas University – Fredericton, October 2019


Studio 303 // Photo © Lucy M. May

reaching over a brink of darkness, folding open to a starlight trepanation

Ibrida*Pluri III, Eastern Bloc, Montréal, Québec, April 27-28, 2017

In her absence, Lucy entrusted a performance of dance notations to two artists, Paige Culley and Andrew Tay for Ibrida*Pluri III, festival of hybrid media in Montreal, Québec.

As a kind of temporal Cubism, they reanimated drawings of dances Lucy made and felt while in residence in her natal province of New Brunswick between fall 2016 and spring 2017. The multiplicity of limbs is a rough animation, recalling prehistoric drawings made in France’s Chauvet Cave. Past and present enfold each other in the reading of drawings, as if the motions previously made were still reverberating; as if the body who traced them were just there, moments ago, with you in the room.

The public was invited play around.

Concept & Drawings : Lucy M. May
Performances : Andrew Tay and Paige Culley
Sound Design : Patrick Conan
Medium :  Drawings copied to transparency film, Live Art
Thanks to Eduardo Menz, WhiteFeather Hunter, Nathan Yaffe, Susanna Hood, Emma-Kate Guimond, Jamie Wright, Paige Culley, Andrew Tay, and Patrick Conan.
New Brunswick residency supported by Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Radiant, Ashen, Burning, Blistered, Flushed: A Century of Naked Performance

Lucy M. May, Monkey paw, 2009.

I researched incidences of nudity in certain veins of avant-garde dance from Greek times to now for my feature article Radiant, Ashen, Burning, Blistered, Flushed: A Century of Naked Performance. It interested me to better understand how currents of prudishness and openness towards the body have wavered over time.

Feature article published in May/June 2014 in The Dance Current: Volume 17, Issue 3


Deinstallation Performance

Photo of lucy m. may courtesy of Simone Alexandra.

While touring in Sweden in February 2012, I was invited by my friend and former colleague Laura Hatfield to dance at the Valand School of Fine Art’s Galleri Rotor, where she works as a Curatorial Intern while studying at the University of Gothenburg, towards a Master of Science in International Museum Studies.

The work exhibited in the space at the time was Ian Pedigo’s installation In a Shaded Corner of the Room; The Curtains…: a collection of assembled and disassembled sculptures made of found objects, and materials cut from the gallery space itself. Franz Kafka’s story Cares of a Family Man was a ‘point of entry’ for Pedigo’s creation.

This installation was already in the process of being dismantled by Laura when I arrived–a task which is both part of her job and a part of her artistic practice. The score we performed in the space axed on Hatfield’s activities, my inhabitation of the space as a gallery ghost, and their interceptions with the themes present in Cares of a Family Man. Following our performance, we exchanged interview questions about our experiences.

Galleri Rotor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, February 13th, 2012.

More photos: