Professionals & Artist Development

Born in Jesi, Italy, Luca Silvestrini graduated in Performing Arts at Bologna University. In 1995, he moved to London to complete his dance training at Laban. Since then Luca has worked with Maxine Doyle's First Person, Catherine Seymour Dance Company, Lea Anderson and The Featherstonehaughs, Rose's Thoughts, Bock & Vincenzi, Sarah Rubidge, Joanna Portolou, Ruth Segalis and Aletta Collins.

His choreography dates from 1997 when he co-founded Protein. As Artistic Director he is known for idiosyncratic dance theatre work provoked by its deep connections with the everyday. His personality is stamped on large-scale cross-generational and participatory events including the world record-breaking Big Dance Class, Eat London (which won a Visit London Gold Award) and Big World Dance 2010, both of which took place in Trafalgar Square. Being equally at home working with professionals and non-professionals has extended international demand for Luca’s work to community settings and he has created large-scale inter-generational productions in Valenciennes, Athens, Barcelona, Turin and Kinosaki, Japan; and has taught and presented Protein’s participatory work at schools and conferences in Singapore, Spain and Italy.

In addition to his work for Protein, Luca has created work for the Royal Opera House, Transitions Dance Company, CandoCo, Bare Bones, Intoto, From Here To Maturity, Company of Elders at Sadler’s Wells, Sankalpalm and HeadSpace Dance. Theatre and opera credits include work for English National Opera, Theatre Rites, Royal Court Theatre, Duckie and Youth Music Theatre UK. He has won a Jerwood Choreography Award, a Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and The Place Prize 2006 Audience Award and was one of the first recipients of a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers (2006). In 2012 he was selected by the European modul-dance project to develop the piece Border Tales, focusing on multi-cultural Britain and how we perceive ourselves and each other, which toured the UK in 2013/14.

Luca is a Work Place artist. 


May Contain Food (2015) 

Protein has created its most playful show to date with a new immersive work that features four vocalists and four dancers, singing for their supper in a dining setting that may contain food...

This witty piece of dance and music theatre is inspired by social occasions and life at mealtimes. The performers invite you to sit at a table, offer a tasting menu and then serve you a show that explores our relationship with food. All sound is performed a cappella as movement is composed and music is choreographed, creating an intimate experience of indulgence, nostalgia and mischief.

Watch May Contain Food Trailer

May Contain Food was commissioned by The Place and funded by Arts Council England, The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts. Supported by the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership, The Place Choreodrome and the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, with funds from The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Appetite, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Pavilion Dance South West, Swindon Dance and The Royal Ballet.



Border Tales (2014) (stage production, presented in the round with live music)

With an engaging blend of dance, dialogue and live music and treated with trademark physical and verbal wit, Border Tales looks at multi-cultural living in the UK seen through the eyes of the characters on stage. Silvestrini turns his sharply satirical gaze to stereotypical thinking, tolerance and where lines are drawn between 'them' and 'us'. Seated in the round to bring you closer to the action, a cast of international dancers and local performers will entertain and provoke you with this amusing yet poignant look at how we perceive ourselves and each other.

Duration 90 minutes, no interval

People on road 12 (7 dancers, 1 musician, 2 technicians, choreographer/rehearsal director, tour manager/producer) 5 local performers to be sourced by promoter

Freight Freight and excess baggage, details available in technical rider

Wraparound Masterclasses for professional dancers; Youth workshops; Post-show talks; Mentoring

Watch Border Tales Trailer

“Excellently performed by a multi-talented, international cast, Border Tales is a big, brave, cacophonous attempt to show what it means to live in multicultural Britain today.” Guardian

“…the whole thing is superbly stage and performed” Daily Telegraph

“Totally blown away. Amazing contact work. Thoughtful. Bloody funny.” Audience member

“An intimate piece that scratches the surface of what I believe to be much broader tales. The intimate proximity to the stage brings to light just how real these issues are in all our lives. Portrayed with majesty and unabashed humour.” Audience member

Commissioned by Bath Dance, ICIA Bath, DanceEast, DanceXchange, Dance Manchester and The Place. Supported by modul-dance and the Culture Programme of the EU, Greenwich Dance, Yorkshire Dance, The Place Choreodrome, Trinity Laban, British Council and in co-production with tanzhaus nrw in the frame of modul-dance.


LOL (lots of love) (2011) (stage production, presented end on with recorded music)

Luca Silvestrini's critically-acclaimed show enters the lives of a group of six people trapped in their webs of aspirations, desires and self-broadcasting.

Reflecting their inability to free themselves from their online personae, the characters narrate their busy and intricate electronic lives as their physical interaction becomes progressively more awkward and out of control. Against a video wall of screen-gazing individuals, the cyber souls stylishly nail the language of life online in their quest for romance. Talking and dancing at speed, they tackle the baffling etiquette of electronic discourse, make hilarious straight-to-the audience confessions, and dance the physical equivalent of poking and tweeting. With video animation by Rachel Davies and original music by Andy Pink, these ingredients conjure a razor-sharp commentary on our Facebook society, and an affecting rendering of human need.

Duration 70 minutes, no interval

People on road 10 (6 dancers, 2 technicians, choreographer/rehearsal director, tour manager/producer)

Freight Freight and excess baggage, details available in technical rider

Wraparound Masterclasses for professional dancers; Youth workshops; Post-show talks; Mentoring

Watch L.O.L. (lots of love)

"LOL is Silvestrini’s strongest work to date" Observer

"Luca Silvestrini is the sharpest of comic choreographers" Guardian ****

"…it has a potent, even poignant, charm" The Times ****

NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS 2011 WINNER: Best Independent Company

THEATRE AWARDS UK 2011 NOMINEE: Outstanding Achievement in Dance

NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS 2011 NOMINEE: Best Modern Choreography

Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) Sally Marie

Commissioned by Dance East, Greenwich Dance and The Place and supported by South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell.


(In)visible Dancing (2010) (Off-stage outdoor participatory production with live music)

(In)visible Dancing is a unique location-based performance intervention, originally conceived in 2010 for International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB).

Each (In)visible Dancing project takes the form of a piece of contemporary dance/physical theatre about 30 minutes in length, specially created for a particular location by Protein’s Luca Silvestrini. It is performed twice a day over a period of up to two weeks in the same place; typically a busy, outdoor pedestrianised shopping street or indoor shopping centre where there are lots of members of the public.

(In)visible Dancing seemingly grows out of everyday life, developing from what looks like ‘incidental’ strange behaviour on the street to a fully-fledged dance experience that engages with the architecture of the location. (In)visible Dancing then becomes Visible Dancing, a big-splash finale event engaging 80+ local amateur/community performers in a high profile performance display on the final day of the project. Made as a bespoke piece for each location it’s commissioned for, (In)visible Dancing can be experienced in a number of ways – as a passerby enjoying a brief event as street entertainment, an avid watcher following the action as it builds daily, a participant in the finale, or an Apprentice Dancer co-devising and performing the work from beginning to end.

Duration Usually over 7-10 days; 20-30 minutes for each show, twice a day which culminates in a Finale event

People on road 8 (6 dancers, tour manager, choreographer/rehearsal director). 3-5 local dancers will also be recruited by promoter as apprentices for the duration; up to 5 local musicians recruited by promoter

Freight Excess baggage only

Wraparound Masterclasses for professional dancers; Mentoring; short-term apprenticeships for local dancers

Watch (In)visible Dancing Trailer

“[A] highly entertaining outdoor dance experience… Keep a look out for some curious characters in the two weeks before the finale, as the performance changes from invisible to visible before your very eyes.” Theatre Bath

“They were just randomly dancing … and you don’t know which … people are going to join in, and you (are) just looking around wondering what is going to happen next” Audience member

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein present an International Dance Festival Birmingham production


Dear Body (2008)

B for Body (2006)

Big Sale (2005)

The Banquet (2003)

Publife (2001)

On The Couch (2000)

Portrait With Group and Duck (1999)

The Last Sleep (1998)

Duel (1998)