Senior management team biographies
Caroline Finn, Artistic Director
Caroline Finn is NDCWales's Artistic Director and is responsible for the creativity and delivering the company's artistic vision. Caroline trained at the Arts Educational School, Tring and then the Juilliard School, New York, where she attained her BFA in dance. As a dancer, Caroline has performed with Ballett Theatre Munich under the direction of Philip Taylor; Ballet Preljocaj (France); Compagnie Carolyn Carlson (France); Jochen Heckmann and Johanna Richter. Caroline has been a freelance dancer and choreographer since 2009 and her acclaimed solo work Bernadette has toured internationally to festivals in Aix en Provence, Munich, Luzern, Berlin, Krakow, Paris and South Korea. Prior to starting at NDCWales Caroline created work for companies such as Tanz Luzerner Theatre (Switzerland); Cross Connection Ballet (Denmark); Compagnie DIEM (France) and Teatr Groteska (Poland). Between 2013 and 2014 she presented three of her works at the Interdans Festival in Belgium and between 2012 and 2014 she created three full length works at Theater in Kempten for the opening of their Tanzherbst Festival. Caroline has worked extensively with young people, creating integrative youth dance performances such as Breaking Light (2011) with Alan Brooks in the mining regions of northern France. A winner of the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographer Award 2014, Caroline created a new work entitled Bloom for Phoenix Dance Theater and she is also a member of Tanztendenz München e.V.
Paul Kaynes, Chief Executive
Paul has been the Chief Executive of the company since February 2015, taking overall responsibility for all aspects of the company’s work, including strategy and planning, funding and finance, external partnerships and collaborations and engaging audiences, participants and the wider public. Prior to this role, Paul was Director of Creative Programmes at the Birmingham Hippodrome, responsible for major outdoor festivals, commissioning new work and the creative learning programme. From 2008 to 2012 he was the West Midlands Creative Programmer for London 2012, commissioning dance participation and performance programmes, as well as many hundreds of diverse cultural events, with audiences and participants totalling three million. For twenty years he worked in cultural marketing and audience development – for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Warwick Arts Centre, mac Birmingham and latterly as Chief Executive of Audiences Central, the audience development agency for the West Midlands. In his role at NDCWales he hopes to inspire existing and new audiences with the power of dance, creating dance in new places and contexts, discovering choreographic talent and taking superb dance made in Wales to the rest of the world.
Nia Thomson, Techical Director
Technical Director, Nia Thomson is responsible for the effective and efficient running of the technical department and works with the Artistic Director on ensuring that the highest quality of production standards are achieved. Nia's passion for touring theatre began as a freelancer specialising in Stage Management and taking performances across Malayasia in 2005. Nia joined the company in 2006 as Company Stage Manager becoming the Technical Director in August 2014, and has toured with the company extensively throughout the UK, Europe, China and India. Nia has a vested passion for costume creation and has worked alongside many designers assisting in the realisation of their visions such as, Natasja Lansen, H. Petal and Christopher Bruce. She has also worked on her own designs for NDCWales' Graduate Ensemble project 'Orient' and with NDCWales Associates projects. Nia continues her freelance career alongside her work at NDCWales and is a regular member of the Stage Management team at The Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.
Marketing and Engagement Manager
Suzanne Carter, Marketing and Engagement Manager
Working closely with the Chief Executive and the Artistic Director, Suzanne is responsible for strategically developing and nurturing relationships with audiences and participants and developing the profile and vision of NDCWales and the Dance House. Suzanne has over ten years experience of working in Arts Marketing. She was the Marketing Manager at Sherman Cymru for eight years overseeing all marketing aspects of the theatre, visiting company events as well as leading on the marketing for some of their award-winning and highly acclaimed productions such as Deep Cut, Llwyth and more recently Iphigenia in Splott. She was the Marketing Manager for Leisure Services department of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and has also worked with Neath Port Talbot Council's Museum and Theatre teams. Suzanne is also a Freelance Marketing Consultant and has worked with many individuals and arts organisations since 2012 on various site specific shows; performances at the Edinburgh Festival and UK Tours for Living Pictures, Sound Affairs, Darkman Productions, Live Arts Show and recently Papertrail and Caroline Sabin. Prior to working in the arts, Suzanne trained as a Journalist and has worked for various media platforms in Wales. She often co-hosts with Jamie Owen on BBC Radio Wales as one of the newspaper pundits.
Kelly Twydale, Programme Manager
Kelly is NDCWales’ Programme Manager and oversees all the programming and projects for the company in Wales, across the UK and internationally as well as events and activities at the Dance House. Kelly’s passion for the arts grew from her Cornish upbringing, watching Shakespearian productions at The Minack Theatre. Before appointed Programme Manager in 2015, Kelly was the Executive Assistant to the Artistic Director for NDCWales and she has also worked at the Sherman Theatre and the Wales Millennium Centre. In 2009 Kelly completed her Masters in Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Lee Johnston, Rehearsal Director
Originally from Sydney, Lee trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She has been a professional performer, choreographer and rehearsal director for the past twelve years, working with companies including Sydney Dance Company, National Dance Company Wales and LINK Dance Company. Highlights as a performer include working with Ohad Naharin, Stephen Petronio, Christopher Bruce and Nigel Charnock, and touring extensively throughout Wales, Europe, India and China. From 2013 Lee continued her work with NDCWales as Rehearsal Director and House Choreographer, creating repertoire They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem and Purlieus which was a World Stage Design 2013 finalist and voted a Telegraph Top 15 highlight. Lee has also been a Dance UK Mentee, mentored by Betsy Gregory, and a Dancers Career Development bursary recipient, enabling her to complete a Masters in Arts Management. Lee was Rehearsal Director for Sydney Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Rafael Bonachela, for the 2015 Sydney Theatre season. In this capacity she staged William Forsythe’s Quintett as well as Bonachela’s Frame of Mind, 2 One Another and Inside There Falls. Lee has now returned to NDCWales as Rehearsal Director and works alongside the Artistic Director and Chief Executive to oversee the quality of performances and the development, wellbeing and management of the dancers. Lee also works closely with the participation team to ensure the company has a strong and enriching engagement programme.
Marketing and Engagement Manager (maternity cover)
Gemma White, Marketing and Engagement Manager (maternity cover)