TEAM

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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 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 Studio Theatre

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 sits on the board

of National Youth Arts Wales, also chairing the Diversity and

Inclusion board for National Youth Dance Wales.

 

More recently, he has directed and choreographed Shades of Blue

which visited Sadler’s Wells, DanceEast and RWCMD in Spring

2022 as well as premièring Matsena Productions' first feature-length

film, Error Code 8:46 in Swansea at Taliesin Arts Centre. Alongside this, his work for National Dance Company of Wales, Codi, toured extensively

throughout the UK this year.

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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 his 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 graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has appeared on television series’ for BBC & Channel 4 and feature film Mad Heidi as well as BOING at Bristol Old Vic and the UK/US Tour of Oliver Award Winning A Monster Calls. He co-founded Matsena Productions in 2017 with Anthony Matsena and since then they have used the company to create a platform for bolder and more diverse storytelling. He co-wrote Are You Numb Yet which won the “International Infallible Award” for “Best Show” at 2020’s Digital ED Fringe Festival. This was followed by his co-direction on Error Code 8:46, the company’s first feature-length film which premièred in Swansea in Spring 2022.

 

This year he co-directed and co-choreographed DREAM for RWCMD and also assisted on the creation of Codi, a new work for National Dance Company Wales which toured the UK extensively.

More recently, Kel co-directed and co-choreographed Shades of Blue which visited DanceEast, RWCMD and Sadler’s Wells, receiving critical acclaim.

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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.

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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’.

 
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DECLAN MCCARTHY / APPRENTICE

Declan McCarthy is a writer, director and puppeteer. He is interested in telling stories of unfulfilled potential and unlocking unbefore ideas. They trained as an actor at Chichester College; playing Nick in Carrie’s War & Olaf in Pillars of the Community while concurrently gaining experience as a member of the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre; performing in Sleeping Beauty as a Forest Creature, Crossing Lines as Sony (leading audiences around a city in the promenade show) and as flying monkey Nikko in Wizard of Oz.

They currently are training as a director at University of Plymouth; having recently been assistant director for Above Bounds' The Pizza Inspector, created a short extraterrestrial version of Romeo & Juliet, and directed an online production of Tom Wells’ About a Goth, during lockdown. Simultaneously, he writes in his spare time, and is a member of the British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild, and has trained under Parker Puppetry to become a puppeteer; making short films starring a fox called Magnus.

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GAVIN MCCAIG / MARKETING MANAGER

Gavin is a Junior Soloist 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.