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Y brodyr Matsena

Taliesin Arts Centre to work with Swansea rising stars on new projects

Taliesin Arts Centre has signed up exciting young Swansea-raised performing arts brothers, Anthony and Kel Matsena for a year long fellowship (2021) to support the creation of innovative new work and to develop ways of working with Taliesin in the future.

‘It’s a huge pleasure to be working with Anthony and Kel. They have proven themselves to be trailblazers in the arts and this Fellowship seeks to build on their successes to date.

Designed to underpin their aspirations and provide them with supported time and mentorship, we will be developing new collaborative projects for audiences in Swansea and further afield.  

I can’t wait to see what comes of their fellowship and to presenting their work at Taliesin in the future.’ Simon Coates, Head of Cultural Services at Taliesin

Anthony and Kel are rising stars in the performing arts world and will be Taliesin Fellows throughout 2021. They will be involved with the screening and performance of new work, the continuing development of their practice, and working closely with Taliesin in researching and identifying possible future opportunities to work in partnership.

With the disruption in the arts over the past year, Taliesin is focusing on its vital role in enriching the cultural life of the region during this time.  A key part of this process involves collaborating with artists, audiences, and communities to bring innovative and ambitious joint projects to life. 

Anthony and his brother Kel grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to Swansea at the age of 13, where they began attending hip-hop, African and Contemporary lessons. Both developed their skills at Gower College Swansea.

Anthony and Kel recently worked with BBC Arts and Sadlers Wells for ‘Dancing Nation’ which was live streamed by the BBC on 14 January 2021. The work they performed was Shades of Blue, which is a response in dance to the effects of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

BIOGRAPHIES – Anthony and Kel Matsena

Anthony and his brother Kel grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to Swansea at the age of 13, where they began attending hip-hop, African and Contemporary lessons. Anthony developed his skills at Gower College Swansea, where he joined County Youth Dance Company.

An exciting and rising talent in contemporary dance, Anthony is a former member of the National Youth Dance Wales (NYDW) and now professionally recognised for his work with Sadlers Wells, National Dance Company of Wales (NDCWales) and performing most recently in Tree at the Young Vic, created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kewi-Armah.

His first professional performance came in 2014 when he was spotted by Matthew Bourne’s artistic team and selected to perform in Lord of the Flies, New Adventures at Wales Millennium Centre. He soon joined National Youth Dance Wales where he gained a pivotal early career highlight; performing Kerry Nicholls work aM for NYDW 2015 on Sadler''s Wells Mainstage.

A year later he was accepted into London Contemporary Dance School, where he quickly became an exciting choreographer and ‘one to watch’. In the same year he graduated from his BA (Honours) in Contemporary Dance, Anthony returned to Sadlers Wells where he was prestigiously awarded the role of Young Associate 2018-2020.

Anthony and Kel are working with BBC ARTS and SADLERS WELLS for ‘Dancing Nation’ which will be live streamed on 14 January 2021. The work being performed is Shades of Blue, which is a response in dance to the effects of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement

Kel is an actor and dancer. From a young age Kel performed in some of the UK’s greatest theatres such as the Bristol Old Vic and The Lowry. He recently worked with BBC in an episode of Doctors. He was also part of the UK/US Tour of A Monster Calls. Kel graduated from the world renowned ‘Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’ in 2019. As a dancer, he has worked with incredible choreographers such as Kerry Nicholls, Neil Fleming-Brown, and Joseph Toonga. With his brother Anthony, he has jointly formed Matsena Productions.

MATSENA PRODUCTIONS

Matsena Productions was founded by Anthony and Kel Matsena – Zimbabwean born and Welsh raised brothers. Through their experience of being brought up in an Afrocentric house and having Eurocentric schooling, they have built a love and curiosity for telling stories that express themes of culture, race, change and belonging. Having trained at prestigious schools: London Contemporary Dance School and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which then led to them developing a passion to drive narratives using a wide range of performance disciplines. Their ambition is to continue to encourage people to have conversations about the difficulties faced in our society.

Click here to download the full press release.