Sheena McGrandles


“Through the body as potential, I build spaces that not only deal with the physical performative event itself, but rather I set out to decentralise this very act. These parallel spaces bleed and spill between the theatrical, exhibition and social space establishing at once multiple layers.”

True Balls / © Thies RaetzkeTrue Balls / © Thies RaetzkeTrue Balls / © Thies Raetzke



A turn towards a distributed choreographic practice, that is to say a turn of attention to the interactions and possibilities of the spaces, surfaces and utterances that transmit performance as an affective rather than a narrative experience, has formed the core of Sheena McGrandles' recent artistic research – a research resisting the temptation to pander to the expectations of the audience or to revert to conventional patterns of performance, providing extended sensorial space within which to engage our individual feelings and associations; a space both enticing and disturbing, that voids simple meaning, that gives space to find out for oneself what is at stake. Performance here is no longer a question of sustaining a singular attention within a prescribed space, but of disturbing the boundaries of where, how and by what means performance might be made to appear. The physical precision and extraordinary vocal range of the two performers in True Balls (2012), for example, builds slowly in relation to a single, static, increasingly uncanny, and visceral object. The effect is formalist and it is through formal means – the setting up of conditions under which the bodies of the performers succeed in queering the physical, vocal and textual body of the performance – that it is shared, questioning our cultural patterns with dark humour and dexterity. The transformation and manipulation of the material and immaterial surfaces onto which our bodies and voices inscribe themselves, form a compelling pulse of affective response central to the choreographic research that is being pursued here.
Ric Allsopp

True Balls (2013)
2 performers, stage 9 x 9 m, 50 min

Steve and Sam (2013)
2 performers, stage 5 x 5 m, 30-50 min

Eee (2012)
solo, stage 9 x 9 m, 40 min

Ee (2011)
solo, stage 6 x 6, 30 min

Growing a Man (2009)
solo, stage 6 x 6 m, 40 min

One woman and a Mic (2009)
solo, stage 6 x 6 m, 40 min



Sheena McGrandles, originally from Northern Ireland, graduated with a B.A. in Dance Theatre from the Laban Centre, London (2007). While being an artist in residence with the Daghdha Dance Company, Ireland (2008/09) she was awarded with the Choreographic Bursary Award from the DanceHouse, Dublin. McGrandles completed her M.A. in Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT) in 2012, supported by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). She is a danceWEB scholarship holder (2012) and in 2012/13, she was choreographer in residence at K3 – Centre for Choreography. At present, Sheena is working with artist Eva Meyer-Keller and is touring with her “E series” project and “True Balls”. McGrandles is an artistic research associate at HZT Berlin and will be supported through the PAP Mentoring Program in Berlin over the next 3 years.