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11-13 NOVEMBER 2021


Detective Work is a new duet, choreographed by Seke Chimutengwende in collaboration with Stephanie McMann, which explores choreography as a process of creating and solving mysteries.

The performance is a web of fragmented scenes and dances that occur and reoccur in ever-changing permutations. Working in counterpoint to one another, the performers come at the material from every angle, rearranging the evidence in different configurations.

Detective Work channels the relationship between mystery and multiplicity – the sense that there are many possible outcomes to any single process. Shifting between the absurd, the melancholic and the uncanny, the show invites us into a place of constant questioning that ultimately feels hopeful. In this moment of great uncertainty, Detective Work looks to mystery as an antidote to despair.

Choreographer and Performer: Seke Chimutengwende
Collaborator and Performer: Stephanie McMann
Composer: Jamie McCarthy
Costume Designer: Annie Pender
Lighting Designer: Jackie Shemesh
Dramaturg: Charlie Ashwell
Rehearsal Director: Helena Webb


Seke ChimutengwendeSeke is a choreographer, performer, movement director and teacher. Seke studied dance at Lewisham College 1999 – 2001 and London Contemporary Dance School 2001 – 2004. He has performed for companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre and Lost Dog and has performed solo and group improvisations internationally since 2006. His choreographies include The Time Travel Piece (runner-up Place Prize 2012) and Black Holes, a collaboration with Alexandrina Hemsley (British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2019). Seke is currently researching a new group choreography looking at ghosts and haunted houses as metaphors for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present. Since 2018, Seke has worked as a movement director for theatre productions at The Yard Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and The Gate Theatre. Seke teaches improvisation and choreography at London Contemporary Dance School and The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Stephanie McMannSteph is a dancer, movement and rehearsal director from London. She works as a performer with makers including Roberta Jean, Theo Clinkard, Lucy Suggate, Oona Doherty, Laura Dannequin, Dan Canham, Janine Harrington, Damien Jalet, Hussein Chalayan, Jamila Johnson-Small amongst others and most recently performed with Jamie xx at All Points East festival, London. Steph’s TV and film work includes His Dark Materials (2019/20) GoT (prequel, 2019) World War Z (2013), assisting Alex Reynolds and Suspiria (2018) with Damien Jalet. She is a past Sadler’s Wells Summer University artist and a movement & rehearsal director for dance, film, theatre and circus, including Liz Aggis and Acrojou. She has worked with Scottish Dance Theatre as Rehearsal Director (maternity cover from Nov 19-Feb 20) and Movement Director (cover) for the film Louis Wain (2020) and upcoming projects during 2021/22. Steph is dancer/co-artistic director of Nora with Eleanor Sikorski & Flora Wellesley Wesley, with their last commissions include work by Deborah Hay and Eleanor Bauer.


Charlie Ashwell - Dramaturg
Charlie Ashwell is a dance artist working with choreography, teaching, writing, and dramaturgy. They have performed with Seke Chimutengwende & Friends, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Janine Harrington, Florence Peake and English National Opera, among others. They have collaborated as dramaturg with Es Morgan, Seke Chimutengwende and Greg Wohead, alongside teaching technique, improvisation and choreography at the University of Roehampton. Charlie's own research, currently gathered under the title Choreography as an Occult Practice, looks at the role of the magical, the unknown, and the prophetic in choreographic practice.

Jamie McCarthy - Composer
Jamie has worked for many years composing and performing music in a wide variety of situations, with a primary focus on cross-artform work and collaboration. Collaborators include Sue MacLennan, Joanna Young, Seke Chimutengwende, Amy Bell, Fevered Sleep, Raquel Meseguer Zafe, sirenscrossing, Dog Kennel Hill and Simonetta Alessandri. For many years he taught music at London Contemporary Dance School and was lucky enough to spend eight joyful years touring the world as a violinist with Canadian Queer band The Hidden Cameras. Jamie also releases his 'symphonic drone music' under the name 'CERFILIC'.
Music on streaming and online stores under the names: Jamie Michael McCarthy and CERFILIC.

Annie Pender - Costume Designer
Annie Pender is a costume designer, creative consultant and psychotherapist, working on projects that have spanned across fashion, film, theatre, dance, art and the community. In her practice she helps clients foster creative curiosity, new perspectives and experiential approaches to facilitate transformation, growth and connection. Both her spheres of work with individuals or larger creative projects are an opportunity for research into the relationship with our experience of life. A playful sense of what we choose to costume ourselves in supports our point of perspective and heightens what is felt in the expression of a moment.

Jackie Shemesh - Lighting Designer
Jackie works as a lighting designer for Dance, Theatre, Performances, Installations and Music. Theatre and Dance designs in UK include works for Sadler’s Wells, Manchester International Festival, National Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, Bush Theatre, Almeida Theatre and several works at the West End among others.

Helena Webb - Rehearsal Director
Helena is a choreographer, performer, rehearsal and movement director and facilitator. She collaborates with a wide range of people including; professional dancers, film-makers, theatre makers, young people and men in prison. Helena likes simple, striking images, huge buoyant moments transforming into something more demanding and true stories told by the people who experience them. Her work has been commissioned/supported by Chisenhale Dance Space, Battersea Arts Centre, South East Dance, Greenwich Dance, Yorkshire Dance, Barnet, Enfield and Harringey NHS Mental Health Trust and Arts Council England.


This research project has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


General: £10
Bursary: £7.50

Bursary tickets are self-nominated (i.e. you do not need to supply an ID, like when booking a concession ticket)

Booked arrival times from 6pm, performance at 7:30pm, approximate end time 9pm.

All performances of Detective Work are now SOLD OUT.  You can visit the event page on Siobhan Davies Studios’ website for more info.


The performances of Detective Work are both artistic events and a scientific research process. You are invited to participate in one of two different ways:

Performance Ticket + EEG Participation Book this ticket if you would like to contribute to NEUROLIVE’s research by wearing measurement devices throughout the performance.

We have capacity to fit just over half of the audience with mobile electroencephalography (EEG) devices for each performance. Recording this number of EEGs at one time during a live performance will be a world first, which your participation will directly contribute to.

What does EEG Participation involve?
  • You will contribute to the research by wearing an EEG device which measures brain activity, and a breath band which measures breathing. You will also be invited to complete questionnaires before and after the performance.
  • The video below shows you what EEG Participation looks like. Please also download an info sheet here for further information.
  • Please book a time slot to arrive at 6pm, 6:30pm or 7pm, to be set up with the devices. The performance will be followed by some additional measurements and removal of the devices, finishing at approximately 9pm.

Performance Ticket only
  • Book this ticket if you would like to attend the performance without wearing measurement devices.
  • You will be invited to contribute to the research by completing questionnaires before and after the performance.
  • Please arrive by 7pm. The performance and questionnaires will end at approximately 9pm. 

Please visit the Siobhan Davies Studios website for full details about your visit to the building.


What does the EEG record? The EEG records the neural activity of large numbers of brain cells located near the surface of your skull. The voltage changes produced by these cells are tiny, that is why we need to place the cap as close as possible to your scalp. The water-based gel also helps to increase conductivity between your scalp and the electrodes in the cap. 

What are brain waves?  The activity of the brain is rhythmical: that is, large numbers of brain cells fire together and then become silent together. This synchronised activity of brain cells produces the characteristic waves you can see in your EEG.

What is the cap made of? The cap is made of 32 electrodes and electrical wires, sown into a stretchy, high-tech fabric. The wires and electrodes are “shielded” against electrical noise from the environment, for example your phone. The cap is not electrically powered itself, but it records brain activity entirely passively. 

How long is the set up? The setup will take approximately 30 minutes, most of this time is dedicated to gelling up the cap, but we will also record 5 minutes of resting state data, which we use as a baseline for assessing changes in your brain activity when you watch the performance. We will record another 5 minutes of resting state data immediately after the performance. 

Can I eat, drink, use the toilet when I’m wearing an EEG mobile device? Yes, you can eat and drink as you would normally, but please do not drink alcohol until after the performance, as alcohol alters your brain signals. You can also use the toilet, although it may require removing your backpack beforehand and then reconnecting it again after. We will have assistants stationed close to the toilets, who will help you with this. 

Can I consume alcohol when I’m wearing an EEG mobile device? No, you should not drink alcohol immediately before or while you are wearing the EEG cap. Alcohol changes your brain activity. 

What is the water-based gel made of? EEG conductive gels are typically water-based gels with a bit of salt to support conductivity. The gel that will be used by the NEUROLIVE team is called OneStep Cleargel.

Do I have to wash my hair after wearing the EEG? No, you can also brush it out with a comb afterwards, or leave it in until you are back home, if you prefer. If you would like to wash out the gel immediately after the performance, then we have towels and shampoo available. 

Is the EEG device able to work with any hair style? The more distance that your hair creates between the electrodes in the cap and the skin on your head, the less able the device is to record your EEG signal. In some cases, this can be addressed by pushing the hair down and using a bit more gel. However, if the hair cannot be moved aside, then it is possible that we may not be able to collect brain data from you during this event.

Hair products or skincare products (oily ones in particular) can also be a factor, as they may reduce the electrical conductivity of your scalp. The water-based gel that this technology uses to help make electrical connections (and the need that it creates to wash or brush the gel out after) may also be something that is not suitable for your hairstyle and the way you care for it.

Please talk with us if you have questions about hairstyles and EEG, so we can assess how to make the technology work for you, as each participant’s hair is different. If you would like to contact us in advance of the event, you can get in touch via

Does the EEG device read my thoughts as I’m watching the performance?No, the EEG signals cannot be used to read your thoughts. We can only draw conclusions about much more general cognitive states, such as measuring your general level of attention and engagement, or comparing how similar your brain activity is to those of other spectators.

What Covid-safety measures will there be for the EEG preparation process?During EEG preparation, the scientific team will all be wearing face masks. The preparation room is fully ventilated and we have set up the preparation tables in a socially distanced way. All research equipment is carefully washed and sanitised after each use. 

A European Research Council funded project