Telling stories about radical change and belonging - The Froebel Trust Annual Lecture recorded in November 2022

This is a recording from the 2022 lecture given by Anthony and Kel Matsena.

During the lecture, Anthony and Kel Matsena talk about their childhood, their family life and their experience of moving to Wales as children. They speak about how dance, music and creativity were an integral part of their family life from a very young age:

"Dance was a way we could untangle the things we were experiencing when we didn't have the language to express what we were feeling..." Kel Matsena

The brother were born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and brought up in Swansea. They have gone on to become acclaimed choreographers and performers - and set up the award-winning dance company, Matsena Productions. Their recent work has drawn national and international attention, with performances on the main stage of Sadler's Wells as part of Dancing Nation - a project co-ordinated by Sadler's Wells and the BBC. In April 2022 the BBC produced a documentary about the brothers' lives and work - "Brothers in Dance". This is available to watch on BBCiPlayer.

Together Anthony and Kel have built a love and curiosity for telling stories that express themes of culture, race, change and belonging. Their ambition is to continue to encourage people to have conversations about the difficulties faced in our society.

The brothers speak about "the power of family, love and creativity" and reflect on their journey to becoming two of the most innovative and in-demand emerging artists on the UK dance scene.

At the end of the recorded lecture, they are joined by Professor Tina Bruce, Rachna Joshi and Catriona Gill who make connections between Froebelian principles to early education and Kel and Anthony's creative work and ideas.

About Anthony Matsena

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Wales, choreographer and movement director Anthony trained at the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School. Along with his brother Kel, he is the co-Artistic Director of their award-winning company Matsena Productions. They most recently wrote and directed original piece Geometry of Fear for Messums Wiltshire and adapted it for a livestream performance on BBC's Dancing Nation as Shades of Blue. Anthony is also director of performance and performance associate at Messums Wiltshire. He is an associate artist of National Dance Company Wales and was selected as one of the inaugural Young Associates at Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2018.

About Kel Matsena

Welsh-Zimbabwean actor, writer and director Kel graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre in 2019. He recently played the role of Anton in A Monster Calls UK/US Tour directed by Sally Cookson and appeared as guest lead Mo Adebayo in BBC's Doctors. He, with brother Anthony, are co-artistic directors of Matsena Productions, an award-winning dance company. They most recently wrote and directed original piece Geometry of Fear for Messums Wiltshire and adapted it for a livestream performance on BBC's Dancing Nation as Shades of Blue.

About Professor Tina Bruce

Professor Tina Bruce CBE is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Roehampton where she was Director of the Centre for Early Childhood Studies. She has written many highly acclaimed books including Early Childhood Education (Hodder & Stoughton, now in its 5th edition), Time to Play in Early Childhood Education (1991) and her latest book Friedrich Froebel: A Critical Introduction to Key Themes and Debates (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021). She is a Vice President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education and a trainer for the Froebel Trust Travelling Tutors.

About Rachna Joshi

Rachna Joshi is an early childhood teacher, action-researcher and consultant. She works with under-threes, Nursery and Reception children in classroom settings, and holds an MA in Early Childhood Studies. Rachna also writes for organisations like Tapestry and Early Education and is training to become a Froebel Trust Travelling Tutor. Her recent work includes embedding music into settings via grants to purchase outdoor music walls, open-ended music resources and workshops for children and their families.

About Catriona Gill

Catriona is currently an Early Years Education Officer with Education Scotland (Scottish Government's executive agency responsible for supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education). She is also a Froebel Trust trustee and Associate Tutor on the Froebel in Early Childhood Practice Course at the University of Edinburgh. Until 2021, Catriona was Head Teacher of Greengables Nursery School and Family Centre in Edinburgh where the pedagogy was based on Froebelian principles.