geometry of fear

Saturday 5 September 2020


Eight dancers took to the stage at Messums Wiltshire for a new performance ‘Geometry of Fear’ choreographed by our Performance Associate Anthony Matsena.‘Geometry of Fear’ is a term coined by the critic Herbert Read in 1952 to describe the work of a group of young British sculptors characterised by tortured, battered or blasted looking human. Although not initially Elisabeth Frink came to be a part of this dynamic.

Those who witnessed Anthony Matsena’s ground-breaking performance When it Arrives, commissioned for MOVEMENT at Messums Wiltshire in 2019, will not easily forget it. Following that remarkable event, Anthony became our Performance Associate for 2019/20 and this September, we are delighted to present the result of that process as a new work, made in response to the repercussions of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and uses – as its start point – the creative energy of Elisabeth Frink’s output and her recreated Woolland Studio, installed in the historic barn at Messums Wiltshire.

A synthesis of the legacy and output of Frink and the seismic changes that have taken place this year is the basis for this pioneering contemporary dance performance. Composed in three acts, and influenced by three distinct locations, the choreography will address ideas of Humanity, Spirituality and Nature in an attempt to crush borders within the framework of a performance and also those between performer and audience. This will be a significant moment within a movement that has included mass uprising, civil unrest and cries for change two incredibly talented young brothers, and rising stars in the world of dance and choreography.

Towards the end of her life, and whilst working in her Woolland Studio, Frink stated that, “We no longer respond properly to atrocities, if I had a religion it is that every man should be free in his spirit”. We have taken that spirit and made it our own by using a potent mix of dance, poetry, music, dialogue and text to tell this epic journey.

Matsena Performance Theatre 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.

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