In just a few short weeks, Vivarium will burst into spaces at Tangente Danse in Montréal for a run of four public shows!

Our tour to the Maritimes in January 2018 was an intimate yet significant success. We were received with open arms, offered two workshops, and had deep conversations with audiences in both Moncton and Halifax, as well as with extended community members with whom we crossed paths.


Paige Culley / Photo: Kevin M. Photographer

Join us for this double bill — Rewilding — in tandem with the inimitable Kimberly De Jong. Her new solo BOXHER, in collaboration with the saxophonist Jason Sharp, will première alongside Vivarium on Thursday March 29th. We are so excited to share this experience with you.

Buy tickets online or call the Tangente box office at 1 (514) 525-1500:

Thursday March 29th, 7:30 pm
Friday March 20th, 7:30 pm
Saturday March 31st, 7:30 pm
Sunday April 1st, 4 pm

The Wilder Building, 1435 de Bleury Street
Downtown Montréal


Dans quelques courtes semaines, Vivarium éclora dans les espaces de Tangente Danse à Montréal pour quatre représentations publiques!

Notre tournée dans les Maritimes a été intime mais fut un succès significatif. Nous avons été reçu à bras ouverts, offert deux ateliers et eu des conversations profondes avec les publics de Moncton, Halifax et également avec les membres des communautés que nos routes ont croisées.


Patrick Conan & Noémie Avidar / Photo: Kevin M. Photographer

Rejoignez-nous pour ce double programme — À nouveau sauvageen tandem avec l’inimitable Kimberly De Jong. Nous partageons la soirée lors de la première de son nouveau solo BOXHER, en collaboration avec saxophoniste Jason Sharp, le soir du jeudi 29 mars. Nous avons si hâte de partager cette expérience avec vous.

Acheter vos billets en ligne ou appelle la billetterie au 1-514-525-1500:

Jeudi le 29 mars, 19h30
Vendredi 30 mars, 19h30
Samedi 31 mars, 19h30
Dimanche 1 avril, 16h00

Édifice Wilder — Espace Danse, 1435 rue de Bleury
Centre-ville de Montréal

Dans une semaine!
Next week!

Jupiter is in Scorpio, Venus is conjunct Jupiter, and winter is darkening our half of the earth. There is a lot on the plate. There is a lot of energy begging to be channelled and harnessed, condensed to a seed, planted, patient.


Lucy M. May — Le Goulet — Photo originale c/o Llamaryon – Marion Desjardins

>> My quick hop to Quebec City in October for La petite scène’s 10th anniversary edition — Inquiétante étrangeté, for which I created and performed Le Goulet was a success. I met lovely new folks, and loved the intensity of spending a whole day to prepare for a 7-minute performance.

>> We raised our campaign goal for Vivarium, and this week Paige Culley, Patrick Conan and I go into residency at Tangente.

>> This weekend: LUNA. I’ll be performing on Saturday November 18, 2017, on the new moon, with Nate Yaffe to help Kim de Jong raise funds for the creation of her new project BOXHER. Buy your tickets here!


>> Flyers and posters are up for Cru d’automne — L’école de danse contemporaine de Montréal’s Third Year students’ show, for which I created a sextet with a mighty little group of people. This is a big deal for me. Shows run December 13-16, 2017 at “Tangora” / l’Édifice Wilder — Espace Danse.

>> I am writing my final report for the Esemplastic Landing residency which was completed this summer. With a few months remove, the depth of learning and shifting that came for me from the unfolding of this project is moving. There are long pieces of writing I have in my back pocket, and I hope one day to be able to share this formally with you.

>> Research with Susanna Hood and a super crew of dancers and musicians over the past weeks has been elevating, unifying, and mind-expanding. >> Beginning a series of regular one-on-one engagements with residents of the CHSLD retirement homes across the island of Montreal in the context Ariane Boulet’s project Les mouvements du passage is a gift and an intense practice of listening and ascertaining, of questioning how to be with another, how to ask for permission, how to offer, when and how, without words. >> Timid as I was, leading an improvised score for those attending this year’s Movement Educator’s Forum, held at Studio 303 and coordinated by Kelly Keenan, was a gratifying experience. Discussions again, about consent, about crediting our sources and the nature of dance lineage as an oral tradition, about the difference between sensation and feeling, about sitting in discomfort, circulated in the room, as we revisited the strange attitudes of our bodies, our strange behaviours existing in the fringe spaces of not-knowing. Eroca Nichols’ pedagogy blew my mind.

>> Lots on the horizon…but heck, it’s bed time already…


Thank you to everyone who donated to Vivarium! You raised 3310$ which will go towards remounting the work for indoor spaces and upcoming performances in 2018.

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


A Gift Exchange — Un échange de dons

Dear friends,

Vivarium is being refitted for a winter of indoor shows! This is the first time I’ll be showing my own work at Tangente in Montréal — and I’ve launched my first campaign to levy funds for the essential labour. Your support is a gift, and I deeply appreciate any contribution you can make. I’m taken aback at the support the project has received so far, but from here, we just keep going! Thank you, thank you, thank you,

— Lucy

* * *

Chers amis,

Vivarium se refera à neuf pour des performances intérieurs cet hiver! C’est la première fois que je présentera mon travail à Tangente à Montréal — et c’est aussi la première  campagne de socio-financement que je lances, pour amasser des fonds pour le labeur essentiel. Votre support est un cadeau et j’apprécies profondément vos contributions. Je suis boulversée par le support que le projet à eu à date. D’ici, on n’a qu’à continuer! Merci, merci, merci,

— Lucy

KISS2_Photo Nans Bortuzzo : Interprète Lucy M. May

© Nans Bortuzzo


Noémie Avidar © Zuzu Knew


After Esemplastic Landing, summer is now an arrow straight into the fall…

Here in Acton Vale, quick on heels of New Brunswick, I work with Margie Gillis and co.
Diving into solos The Complex Simplicity of Love and Give Me Your Heart Tonight
We eat and sleep and dream and draw cards from the Motherpeace deck…
One off performances at Marché des possibles (August 13), a fundraiser, Québec city…
Returns to Krump practice, and an article on the Canadian Krump community in the forthcoming Sept/Oct issue of The Dance Current
Creating a new work for third year students’s December show at L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal.
A tour to Mexico City of Binary Animal with Alejandro de Leon / Lost & Found Danse.

Binary Animal. Lucy M. May © Denis Martin



This evening, I completed the Esemplastic Landing project. I danced at my mother’s, in the garden, with Nancy Bauer and with more poetry read by Julie Scriver. Nancy was the first to express an interest in walking with me — so she gets the last dance.
It has been incredible privilege to spend this much time gathering threads in this place, and sussing out meaning and metaphor from its contradictions and blindspots, its Godly beauty and small vastness. I have learned so much, experienced so much and feel so much gratitude — not just for all the people who have helped me along the way (and there are many) — but for the land of here.
All wealth comes from the earth.
                                                               Water is life.
We cannot escape this interdependence.
The communities we form between humans, but also with all other life and “things” influence how we carve out our relationship with this big mother, in stone and mud. Exchanging in community is part of acknowledging the continual transfer of breath and energy between everything, animate and inanimate. Communities bring us back to where we are, who we are — small, needy, fragile, but with immense power to shift the flow like a stone in a river. We can and do make these movements cumulatively, collectively. This dance is happening always. And then the stone is also smoothed and dissolved by the river.
It doesn’t surprise me that I find myself, here at the end of my project, returning to a kind of kitchen party performance. Here, back home, I finally find myself dancing into the fabric of the evening — a move I’ve seen musicians accomplish seamlessly so often since I was little. Now I know that dance can be embraced into this culture of simplicity…into this space, where we convene with food and drink that grew in our soil; where we talk about the world, life, memories; where we weave our stories, and listen. Where we fight and celebrate.
It’s come time to draw others into my dancing — I weave with Nancy, between her cane and the grass, between the starling calls and my mother’s voice; our friends watch.
New Brunswick looks much bigger from the ground up than on a map. There is so much potential here, as anywhere, and so much to swallow, both difficult and delicious. So it’s not over. There is so much space to move in, to know by moving, dancing through…



Hi New Brunswick! I’m back for the last five weeks of Esemplastic Landing!
I’m going to keep it brief.

Week one: Saint John
~ performance and workshop during Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival ~

The Lips of the River
Saturday, June 24th @ 2:00pm 
86 Grannan Street

The performance is an improvisation that takes place at a midway point on a long solo walk across Saint John from one city limit to the other. Lucy will meet the public in front of Rogue Coffee, 86 Grannan Street, where the over-arching choreography of the walk and the day will direct her movements. After the performance, the public is invited to continue the walk with her for as long as they like, to talk and share impressions and stories.

Rustlin’ Vessels Workshop
Sunday, June 25 @1:00pm
187 St. James Street, The Studio Dance School Saint John

For dancers and artists / Adult movers with some experience

This class provides space for wriggling, creeping, shaking, and shifting your juices and pieces. Together, we’ll follow our fingers and toes, practice transfigurations, get lost in sensation and heavy sounds, repeat gestures, deep-listen to objects and spaces, and embody bits of history and anthropology. I’ll propose games, frames, and wormholes that draw on the language of somatics, science, dance, and folklore, and that relay from our commonwealth of contemporary performance practices. We’ll behave andmisbehave, touch the familiar and the unknown, and bump our way through big ideas. Be it resolved that dancing is a way of thinking in the world.

Week two: I’ll be heading to Kingston Peninsula to create movement and explore the lower Wolastoq and The St. John River Society’s heritage steamboat wharves.

Week three: Family connections — returning to Saint Martins with my sister to continue creation in the mud of the Bay of Fundy and the shoals of Big Salmon River where we went as kids. Plus, a four-day paddle with my father — artist and painter Stephen May — to collaborate on drawings and dancing on the Wolastoq between Jemseg, Gagetown, and Otnabog Lake.

Week four: More creation time at movement practitioner and choreographer Lee Saunder’s secluded farm in Petitcoadiac.

Week five: A return to Fredericton to tie things up, and an overnight with the Voyageur Brigade Society as they make their way down the Wolastoq for Canada 150. I will be participating as an on-board artist, inquiring with the paddlers about their knowledge and bringing my own questions to the boat. A show-and-tell of my work will happen at Oak Point landing.
Vivarium à Suoni Per Il Popolo dans moins d’une semaine! Avec movements de Paige Culley (et moi), un bulle sonique de Patrick Conan, un tapisserie végétale et pétrolière de Noémie Avidar… une petite marche depuis Casa del Popolo, une porte ouverte au site secret, un temps suspendu…venez nous visiter un demi-heure ou une heure-et-demi à votre guise.

14 juin (15 juin en cas de pluie)
17h30 rdv à 4873 boul. St-Laurent
Performance de 18h00-19h30
7-12$ “sliding scale”


Vivarium @ Suoni Per Il Popolo in less than a week! With movements from Paige Culley (and myself), a sonic bubble from Patrick Conan, a vegetal tapestry from Noémie Avidar… a short walk from Casa del Popolo, an open-door to a secret location, suspended time….come visit us a half-hour or an hour-and-a-half, as you like.

14 June (15 June raincheck)
5:30 pm call at 4873 boul. St-Laurent
Performance from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
7-12$ “sliding scale”

Accessibility to the site for those with reduced mobility may be inconvenient or not possible, as the entrance is up a grassy hill, and there is a small ledge in the doorway.


Third in a series of short documentaries by Ayelen Liberona, about Margie Gillis’s Legacy Project. The focus here is on Conflict Transformation.

I’m so grateful to continue having these moments of mind-body expansion with her, to be able to learn from her goofiness and complexity, generosity and persistance.

“Let it be there, let it change.” — Margie Gillis


PUMPED that Vivarium will be presented at Suoni per il popolo 2017. This will be the first time dance is presented at the perennial avant-garde music festival, which takes place each June in Montréal, Québec.

Look for us on June 14th, 2017.
Tickets are available here.

$7 / $7-12

*** Secret location / lieu secret — 10 minutes walking distance from Casa del Popolo / à 10 minutes à pied de la Casa del Popolo

*** Maps indicating the route to the site will be given between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm at Casa del Popolo / Une carte indiquant le chemin au lieu de la performance sera donnée entre 17h30 et 19h00 à la Casa del Popolo — The performance runs from 6:00-7:30 pm / La performance continue entre 18h00-19h30 ***
Instagram: @suoniperilpopolo
Twitter: @SuoniPopolo


Very excited to be installing a durational piece (Drawings copied to transparency film, Live Art) — reaching over a brink of darkness, folding open to a starlight trepanation — at Ibrida*Pluri III with the collaboration of Andrew Tay, Paige Culley (movements, presences), and Patrick Conan (sounds). Yay!!!


© Lucy M. May

Through tunnels of sentience, the installation aims towards a kind of temporal Cubism in which distances of time and space collapse. Lucy entrusts the performance to two dance artists, Paige Culley and Andrew Tay, asking them to reanimate the drawings of her movements in her absence. The figures are a notation of dances made and felt while in residence in her natal province of New Brunswick in 2016 and 2017. The multiplicity of limbs suggests a rough animation, taking after drawings made of animals in the Chauvet Cave in France. 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.

April 27-28, 2017
Eastern Bloc
7240 Clark
Montreal, Quebec
Metro De Castelnau


I’ll finally be performing at Tangente for the first time!

April 27-29, 2017 – 19h30
April 30, 2017 – 16h00
Tangente Danse
Édifice Wilder Espace danse
1435 rue De Bleury
Montréal, Québec
Metro Place-des-Arts

In Alejandro de Leon‘s new multi-media work Binary Animal, we inhabit the corridors of the new Wilder building for four days, as part of a triple bill Résonances virtuelles / Virtually, in the flesh.


© Tania Chiarotto


Follow my excursions through New Brunswick 2016-17 — LIKE the page!


Two weeks until I begin phase one of my New Brunswick residency Esemplastic Landing.

I start in Sackville: three weeks of romping around the campus, the marshes, the fields, and mudflats. Send me your ideas of where I should roam on the contact form at the bottom of the page), or visit Esemplastic Landing’s page to leave a comment.




I made my last excursion to Europe with Chouinard recently! So it may have been my last trip to the eastern West for quite some time–who knows? I am, however, off to China–for my final Chouinard tour as a permanent dancer of the company–in four days!

I danced Soft Virtuosity @ Festival d’Avignon in the amazing Cour de Lycée Saint-Joseph. It was incredible to see the projections — our “grande fresque” — on the stone wall of the school and to feel the night sky above us as martins screeched. There is such intensity of feeling in Europe right now –palpable in the audiences before whom I performed, and with whom I sat at shows, following the horrific event in Nice.

We continued to Madrid where we were privileged with a private visit to the Bosch exhibit at the Prado in advance of our performances of the new work, HIERONYMUS BOSCH: THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, at the Veranos de la Villa festival, and afterwords in ‘s-Hertogenbosch proper for Bosch500 Festival. The piece  (boom!) is a triple-decker joy to dance — three flavours of it. Here, as usual, are my tits:

Me and my pal Leon Kupferschmid (Photo: Nicholas Ruel)


July 9th, 2016, a second showing of Vivarium with Paige Culley, Patrick Conan, and Noémie Avidar for a small group of invites. Dorian Nuskind-Oder graced us with her cinematic presence, and Emily Gan shot some wonderful stuff. We are gearing up for a year of deep body composting and pre-pupational wiggling. More to come!


Vivarium (photo by Emily Gan of Noémie Avidar, Lucy May & Paige Culley)


I’ll be co-directing and choreographing a video tomorrow with Cameron MacLean (also known for Vesuvio Solo) for his upcoming album release on banko gotiti (North America) and atelier ciseaux records (Europe).


I am incredibly excited to develop a solo performance practice in Sackville, New Brunswick this fall. Esemplastic Landing is a nomadic outdoor research project…more to come!


Lucy experiments “kinetic field recording” in Vermont ~ photo by Claire May


Just two more shows in France after a marathon tour, and then I’ll come home to do some danced palmistry with my Montreal community!


The workshop is based around initiating movements from isolated fingers and toes. This will permit us to draft simple parameters for complex physical rewiring and gonzo social experimentation. Alone, with a partner or as a group we’ll play, test and train in the studio-as-laboratory. Everyone will have opportunities to apply the diversity of their experiences to this research. All channels are open. Our hands and feet are weighty with signs of the past and whispers of the future: chiromancy, mudras, Chinese meridians … What physical logic or personal truths do these symbolic systems hold to our physical geography? Might these discoveries help us reshape our ways of being and moving through dances and the world? Those with or without fingers and toes are equally welcome.


Shows in København all week with Megan Walbaum, Valeria Galluccio (happy birthday!), Morgane Le Tiec, Scott McCabe, Paige Culley, Sébastien Cossette-Masse, et Sacha, et Carol Prieur, Tony Chong, Joël Lavoie, Charles CB, et Julian et Jérémie et Jean-Hugues.

Also, teaching a pro workshop at the extraordinary Danse Hallerne space on Monday, February 22, 2016.


Erin, Theo and I perform quiet moves on Friday December 18th, at La Poêle 307 in Montreal. Join us for tea and listening while we revisit Aika, a movement research into patience and attention, inspired by reindeer, wind and many afternoons spent swaying in the grass under the sun testing our limits. Contact me for further details.


In Berlin now, with Soft Virtuosity + Mouvements tomorrow Aug. 19 and Thursday 20th at Haus de Berliner Festspiele for Tanz im August. I must admit, these two pieces hold a lot of power and awe for me; awe-ful; each time I perform them (even just in rehearsal) some layer is peeled back off the tasks, the material, the shapes, and further complexities are exposed to the air. The forms are never still as they first appeared to me, as they first felt in my body. Sensations transform inside the shapes, other x-ray lights saturate through the flesh, and meaning twists aside, just out of reach. Strahlen, writes Mina Loy.

Mina Loy, 1882-1966 Communal Cot Collage of cardboard, paper and rags, 1949

This city bears fruit to me always. I’m brewing new projects with my colleagues — a thing that will nest inside the form of tour-life (a mold that repeats its form, again and again dissimilar. What meaning is held in Saramago’s clay dolls made by hundreds in The Cave?) What lies incarnate and unwritten in the tactile dialogue between two surfaces: skin and other thing? We continue to collect the senses…

– L ?


Nine days until I perform with ERIN FORTIER at Subtle Technologies in Toronto…20150521_180008 (1)
Things are clicking into phase for Erin and I. We are rehearsing often in various sunny places around Montreal. Our conversations flow around notions of The Quantified Self to Jane Bennett’s theories on “vibrant matter” to binaural trance, slowness and Doppler effects. I give my regards to Antonija Livingstone, whose scores I learned last year — they are strongly influencing my creative drive and listening muscles. I nod also to the unfolding of a new creation with Marie Chouinard (the content of that piece, however, is top secret until our première in Stuttgart in June 2015).

Stay tuned, as we plan to re-perform Aika in Montreal the following weekend.

– L


Saturday, May 30th, 2015, 13 h 30


I’m in the process of creating a long-duration dance performance and intervention with Erin Fortier in tandem with the talk TIMES COLLIDE given by ERIN FORTIER, JASON BAERG & JAMES ROLFE.

Erin and I will occupy the hallway and mezzanine of Artscape Youthspace in a man-made landscape. Sculptural elements will stand in for the forces of nature Erin encountered during her research in Finland, which included encounters with a Saami reindeer herder. Using repetitive and minimalistic movements, texture, pause and phasing, she and I will relate ourselves to the active, reactive, and coincidental forces in the room, and the movement of spectators.

Subtle Technologies, Speaker Series
Artscape Youthspace. 180 Shaw Street
$40 (full day, regular) $20 (student/senior/artist)
$20 (half day, regular) $10 (student/senior/artist)


Thursday, April 30th, 2015, 20 h 30







I’ve created two pieces for the RQD’s big birthday bash, one in collaboration with composer Patrick Conan, and another in collaboration with dance critic Fabienne Cabado. Surprises await you!
Doors open at 20 h 30.

Billets en prévente au coût de 10 $ dans trois lieux de danse :

► Regroupement québécois de la danse – Entre 9 h et 16 h 30
3680, rue Jeanne-Mance, bur. 440
► Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique – Entre 9 h et 16 h 30
2022, rue Sherbrooke Est► L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal  – Entre 8 h 30 et 19 h
Édifice Belgo, 372, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, bur. 211
► Billets également en vente à La Tulipe : 12,50 $
La Tulipe, 4530, avenue Papineau




Last summer, I was personally invited by Margie Gillis to participate in a think-tank in Acton Vale. This week-long conversation and workshop was aimed at imagining a long-term project that will “involve a new generation of dance artists in Margie Gillis’ various creation, interpretation, mentoring, and teaching activities in order to ensure her important creative legacy.”

As an admirer of Margie’s verve since I was a young girl (I had a postcard from Torn Roots Broken Branches on my wall throughout high school), it was simply a dream to spend a week at her house in Acton Vale last summer, imagining the possibilities with a team of very fine Canadian and American women of dance.

I am personally extremely keen to be involved with Margie’s work in Conflict Transformation, and eventually to pursue other coaching and mentorship projects with her, as the Legacy Project continues to bloom.

Subscribe to the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation’s mailing list

An official launch to The Legacy Project is in the works for the summer of 2015.

Contact Lucy M. May

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