trainers & Experts

Several of the world’s top performance experts are involved in the casting and training of the volunteers from the community – as well as our animal performers.
Our volunteer activation programme has been inspired by experts from numerous Olympic and Commonwealth ceremonies including London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and Rio 2016.

Our Trainers

Actor, writer, historian and combat trainer Mark is a qualified Senior Sword Master.  In 2013 he started The Raven Academy for Stage Combat in York which has spawned a further 6 schools across the North of England.

In 2015 Mark and fellow instructor David Macey created Ravenwold Cinematic Combat Ltd with the aim of training the next generation of stage and screen combatants. As our patient and agile sword combat instructor Mark is training our volunteers to give them skills that they need for the show but also for use in the world of film and TV and other live performances. Several of our volunteers have since gone on to take part in the filming of Beowulf for ITV, something we are very proud about and hope more will follow suit. Mark and David have just finished producing “Whiteblade” a dark age film about King Oswald which will be heading to Cannes in 2016.

Director of NES Pyro (North East Stage and Pyrotechnics) Noted for imaginative and spectacular themed pyro musicals – Martin has built and burned down replicas of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, a World War One Tank and has put the Hogwarts Express through a magic portal. Martin likes to turn any show into a personal and moving experience for the audience.

Throughout his career Martin has worked in the Community Sector, training and inspiring others with his practical enthusiasm, wide knowledge and enthusiasm.

Event Management
If Martin is not producing a show you will probably find him managing a show, event management and event safety is paramount to Martin, producing and managing the following: event management plans, risk assessments, safety procedures, method statements and event costings.

Special Effects
Martin has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to special effects to create a dramatic illusion or dramatic finale to a show.  Martin is competent in the following mediums: fire, smoke, dry ice, Co2, UV, stage pyro, category 4 pyro, water, sound & light.

Anna has been a member of the German eventing squad for the past 10 years.  Her successes include a European Team Bronze Medal and several high placings at Badminton, Burghley and Luhmühlen Four Star competitions.

Having been trained by some of the world’s best trainers, including German team trainer Christopher Bartle, Anna is excited to pass on her knowledge to the Eleven Arches team.

The original choreography for Kynren in 2016 was conceived by Karine Orts-Briancon, with staging and additional choreography by Gina Chan Martinez, Rocky Smith, Katie Pearson, Nikki Woollaston, who have returned to work with us as Movement Directors for the 2017 show.

Gina and Rocky hail from Manchester and have been been working jointly as Freelance Mass Choreographers & Chartists for over 15 years, specialising in charting, choreographing, staging, teaching and then cueing thousands of volunteers live at any one time. Working in numerous countries, with many different cultures, abilities and age groups, Gina & Rocky have become a leading force in the Mass Movement field, producing creative for over 60 large scale televised Ceremonies to date, spanning a cast of 100 up to 12,000 cast in any one scene. The varied cast groups they have worked with has made each project unique from the Dubai Special Forces Military, to African Township children, Welsh Rugby players to the Australian Ballet & beyond; they have worked on numerous Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games and World Cup opening ceremonies. They are thrilled to be returning to Kynren this year, and are very much looking forward to the energy and infectious enthusiasm of the Kynren volunteers!

Katie Pearson has performed, choreographed and taught extensively both nationally and internationally for over 20 years and is on the board of trustees for Eliot Smith Company (ESC). As well as Kynren in 2016, her vast experience of working on large-scale events includes the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Nikki has been dancing all of her life both as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Her professional credits span from UK tours with Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke to choreography for national and international theatre and opera productions, including English National Opera, as well as various high profile West End shows including Oliver! (London Palladium), Cats (New London Theatre) and Gypsy (Savoy Theatre, London).

Nikki has been involved in many mass choreography projects, including the opening and closing ceremonies at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Our Composer

Nathan Stornetta is the highly talented young composer of all the original score for our Show.

Born in Switzerland he studied at the Royal College of Music in London and almost immediately started winning awards for his composition for screen. Nathan keeps demonstrating his craft in many fields (orchestral, electronic, pop and jazz music, sound design and production) and has been noticed by some of the best in the business.

Since his graduation in 2012 he has collaborated with industry giants such as Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Gladiator, The Dark Knight Rises, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean) and Jeff Atmajian (King Kong, The Village, Batman Begins).

Our Story


cast & crew


Our Animals