National Dance Company Wales names Anthony Matsena new Associate Artist
At the start of 2020 National Dance Company Wales announced an exciting new partnership with dancer and choreographer Anthony Matsena.
Anthony grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to Swansea at the age of 13, where he began attending hip-hop, African and Contemporary lessons as well as watching NDCWales perform, which he remembers was his first real taste of Contemporary Dance. As his training progressed, Anthony was accepted into London Contemporary Dance School, where he quickly became an exciting choreographer and ‘one to watch’.
Sadlers Wells made him a Young Associate in 2018 and in 2019, NDCWales invited Anthony to create a new commission for the Company’s Welsh tour: Roots. The resulting work, Codi, was a celebration of Welsh communities coming together in hard times. Following its success, Artistic Director Fearghus Ó Conchúir invited Anthony to become an Associate Artist for the Company noting:
“I’m very happy that the Company can support Anthony, a choreographer who grew up in Wales but whose work so far has been seen more elsewhere. We’ve brought his choreography across Wales in our Roots tour and know the impact of his energy, ideas and approach. This association means we can build on our relationship with him and find even more opportunities for Anthony to share his work with audiences in Wales and beyond.
Anthony in return said:
“It brings me so much joy to be a part of the NDCWales team. The company has played and continues to play a huge role through in my development as an artist. The most exciting part is working for a company so close to home in Wales.”
As an Associate Artist with NDCWales, Anthony will help the Company express, extend and diversify its vision through longer-term relationships that inform different aspects of the Company’s work.
Associate Artists are selected by the Artistic Director and may work with the Company on creating pieces for its professional repertoire, for its Young Associates and other programmes and may contribute to the Company’s Learning and Participation activity. As part of the relationship, the Associate Artists benefit from the Company’s support in developing their own projects.
Anthony joins Matteo Marfoglia as Associate Artist at NDCWales and Caroline Finn as Resident Choreographer.
Anthony Matsena was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and was raised in Swansea, Wales. He began dancing from a young age, training in hip hop and street dance. He then started contemporary and ballet training aged 19 at Gower College Swansea, where he joined County Youth Dance Company and Turning Pointe Dance Academy Swansea. Anthony has been a company member of National Youth Dance Wales (NYDW), creating and touring works by Kerry Nicholls, Odette Hughes (Studio Wayne McGregor), Theo Clinkard, and Eleesha Drennan. Through NYDW, Anthony performed Kerry Nicholls’ aM (2015) at Sadler’s Wells. Anthony continued his training at London Contemporary Dance School, where he will graduate from in 2018. Whilst training at LCDS, Anthony has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Richard Alston, as well as performing professionally in works by Joseph Toonga for Just Us Dance Theatre, and most recently a new play 'Tree' by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah at Young Vic Theatre and Manchester International Festival. Anthony is also the co-founder of Matsena Performance Theatre alongside brother Amukelani.