ANTHONY MATSENA / CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Anthony is a Zimbabwean-born and Welsh-raised choreographer, performer and director working between the mediums of dance, theatre, music and poetry. His work often is politically charged, hoping to make sense of his experience of being brought up in an Afrocentric house and having Eurocentric schooling. He has built a love and curiosity for telling stories that express themes of culture, race, change and belonging.
Anthony co-founded Matsena Productions (formerly Matsena Performance Theatre) with his brother Kel in 2017 as a reaction to the lack of representation they were seeing in schools, on stage and on screen. They both felt there were very few companies that made work around black stories while using their different skills in African dance, hip-hop, contemporary, rap, theatre and poetry.
Anthony’s break-out moment came as a Sadler’s Wells Young Associate in 2018, creating works for Lilian Baylis and the main stage. Recent commissions include Sadler’s Wells, BBC, National Dance Company Wales, Jasmin Vardimon 2, Messums Wiltshire, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and CAPA College. He is also an associate artist with National Dance Company Wales and Messums Wiltshire. Anthony also sits on the board as a trustee for National Youth Arts Wales - also chairing the Diversity and Inclusion board for National Youth Dance Wales.
Anthony is continuing work on his award-winning short film ‘Are You Numb Yet?’. A work telling the story of a black man dealing with the effects of two pandemics - COVID-19 and the global BLM movement. Blending and growing ideas from the short, he has created a work titled ‘Shades of Blue, which will have its main stage debut in May 2022.
KEL MATSENA / CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Kel Matsena is a Zimbabwean born and Welsh raised actor, dancer and writer. Kel began dancing in a street dance trio with brothers Anthony and Arnold, performing at festivals, charity events and appearing on television. He then began ballet and contemporary dance with Turning Pointe Dance Academy and County Youth Dance Company, later discovering his love for acting at Gower College Swansea. He recently graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and his recent credits include BBC Doctors, ‘BOING’ at The Bristol Old Vic and ‘A Monster Calls’ UK/US Tour. He co-founded Matsena Productions with Anthony Matsena and since then they have used the company to create a platform for bolder and more diverse storytelling. He recently co-wrote “Are You Numb Yet” which won the “International Infallible Award” for “best show” at 2020’s digital ED Fringe Festival.
ARNOLD MATSENA / ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Arnold Matsena is a choreographer, musician and model. He was featured on BBC Move it like Micheal Jackson live finals, ITV Britain's Got Talent and Sky Tv for dancing. He is the recent winner of the “Wales youth award winner for best performer”. He teaches workshops in colleges, schools and dance schools around the United Kingdom. Arnold was crowned Mr Wales in 2012 and since then he has been focused on pushing the arts in Wales to the world stage, supporting and encouraging the next generation of artists to go further than before.
STEPH BE / PRODUCER
Steph Be is a London-based freelance producer mainly working in Contemporary & Hip Hop dance theatre. She has experiences in facilitating the delivery of various projects within performing arts, producing work for theatres & gallery spaces, touring dance productions nationally & internationally, producing music videos, short films, art installations and photography exhibitions. With a background in dance, choreography and movement direction, Steph Be combines her creative and producing skills to elevate all the projects she is involved in. As an Afropean creative, her mission is to work on the advancement of Black cultures and visibility for Black artists within the performing arts sector. Her portfolio includes:
ALTRUVIOLET & Dem Productions – Assistant Producer, ‘TRAPLORD’ by Ivan Michael Blackstock; Mayor of London – Creative Producer & Artistic Liaison, ‘Inside Out Project’ by JR; Matsena Productions & Sadler’s Wells – Creative Producer, ‘Shades of Blue’; FUBUNATION – Creative Producer & Company Manager and Becky Namgauds – Producer & Tour Manager, ‘Rodadoras’.
GAVIN MCCAIG / MARKETING MANAGER
Gavin is a dancer and creative with Northern Ballet. His varied performance career has included performances on some of the biggest stages in the UK, including The Royal Opera House and Sadler's Wells. Gavin's choreographic and directorial work for stage and screen has gained critical acclaim and he works across the sector coaching, choreographing and engaging with organisations at board level. Outside of his creative career, he works with SME's to grow their following, create and manage content distribution and develop their brands through web and content design.