The Conditions

work-in-progress ~ 2019—present
video: ︎interview

The Conditions is envisioned as a performance for gallery space, complimented by video works by Ja Britton Johnson and Francesca Chudnoff, as well as an environment by Philadelphia-based visual artist and puppeteer Maisie O’Brien. Third in a series of pieces investigating the ecologies of place, it will follow Vivarium (2014/17), created in alleyways and rail yards, and Anima / Darkroom (2019), a Krump solo for black box theatres.

©Francesca Chudnoff

Recalling the emotion of dancing alone at the Reversing Falls in New Brunswick (The Lips of the River, 2017) and drawn to the intimacy of gazing in the gallery, Lucy M. May and her team are investigating processes that entrain gesture and feeling. The Conditions seeks to track and induce fleeting sensations (butterflies, shivers), rendering subjective experience in voice and movement. Experimental Western microtonal scales, as well as new and archaïc methods of sense-perception inform the work.

Joining the project are musician-composers Patrick Conan and Amy MacDonald, and freestylers from both contemporary and street dance styles: Francesca ChudnoffPeter Jasko, Ja Britton Johnson (Jigsaw / Ozcar the Grouch), and Lucy M. May.


The Conditions is conceived as a series of improvisational scores that are accordion-like in duration. Leveraging the gallery's predisposition to estrange us from physical phenomena by way of its white walls, climate control, security cameras, etc., we are exploring how the gallery space lures us towards sensoriality and subjective experiences. 

©Maisie O’Brien


Creation Phase II - Montréal & New Brunswick

Décloisoner la multisensorialité with Danse-Cité & Émile Pineault, Montréal

Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides, Saint Jérôme, creation residency
Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, Montréal, creation residency
Studio 303, Montreal, research residency 

Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay / Charles Brecard, Montréal, research residency
Circuit-Est, Montreal, research residency
Gallery TPW, Toronto, research residency

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, research residency

producer, direction Lucy M. May
dance, voice Peter Jasko, Ja Britton Johnson, Francesca Chudnoff, Lucy M. May, Marie-Reine Kabasha (research phase), Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep (research phase)
music Patrick Conan, Amy MacDonald, Vicky Mettler (research phase)
visual artist Maisie O’Brien
artistic advisor Ola Maciejewska
tarot consultant Eroca Nicols
voice coach, mentor Judith Koltai
voice training Susanna Hood
outside eyes Helen Simard, Marie-Reine Kabasha
photographers Francesca Chudnoff, Kinga Michalska
videographers Giordano d’Alonzo, Ja Britton Johnson, Francesca Chudnoff, F. Chris Giles, Do Phan Hoi
video editing Lucy M. May
support Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Festival TransAmériques, Studio 303, Circuit-Est, Charles Brecard, Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay / Le Sud-ouest, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Gallery TPW, Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides

︎︎︎ Lucy M. May, Ja Britton Johnson, Patrick Conan ©Francesca Chudnoff

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.