Mathew J Janczewski

Mathew Janczewski, founder and Artistic Director of ARENA Dances, formed the company in 1995. A contemporary choreographer, Mathew has created works for ARENA, and has received commissions from Minnesota Dance Theater, Zenon Dance Company and School, the Walker Art Center, Theater Latte Da, St. Olaf College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College, the Repertory Project of Cleveland, Trek Dance in St. Louis, SUNY- Potsdam, SUNY - Brockport, Carleton College, the University of Minnesota, the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, and the Perpich Center for the Arts. Mathew has been recognized by the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts, receiving Artists Fellowships to create and explore new work. Mathew received a 2005 Sage Award for “outstanding performance," and is the recipient of a 2005 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers, administered by the Southern Theater and funded by the McK night Foundation. Mathew and ARENA are the proud recipients of Dance Magazine's honorable “25 to watch“ for 2008. Residing from the town of Round Lake Beach, IL Mathew received his BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota. As a dancer he performed in the works of Doug Varone, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, Bebe Miller, and Merce Cunningham. Mathew has danced with a variety of Minnesota choreographers, including Hijack, Beth Corning, Shawn McConneloug, Robin Stiehm and Cathy Young. Prior to devoting his full-time energies to ARENA, Mathew was a company member for seven years with Shapiro & Smith Dance and JAZZDANCE! by Danny Buraczeski. In 2006, ARENA celebrated its Tenth year Anniversary at the Southern Theater. Mathew’s UGLY, commissioned by the Walker Art Center and presented in the McGuire Theater, followed in October of 2007. Now, in its fourteenth season, ARENA tours nationally and internationally, bringing Mathew's work beyond his home base of Minneapolis/St. Paul, to Hungary, Russia, New York, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • BFA : Dance, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 1994.
Research & Professional Activities


  • Short Fall : ARENA Dances' 14th Season performing at the LAB in Minneapolis, November 12, 2009 - November 15, 2009
  • Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant
  • 2008 Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch"