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.

The success and impact of Protein’s performance and participation programme has grown nationally and international over the last twenty years and in 2016, Protein was again nominated (having won the accolade in 2011) for the best Independent Company at the National Dance Awards.

Protein is Associate Company with People Dancing, Partner with Greenwich Dance, Yorkshire Dance and ARC Stockton. Luca Silvestrini is a Work Place Artist at The Place, London. 


Luca Silvestrini’s The Little Prince (2018)

Join the Little Prince in this live show as he journeys through the baffling world of grown-ups. Along the way he encounters a lone pilot stranded in the desert and together they discover the power and beauty of friendship and the complexity of love.

Based on the well-loved story, The Little Prince is retold using Protein’s mix of humour, dance and music and encourages us to look at the world through one’s heart and reconnect with the child that’s in us all.

A story of love and friendship for children and grown-ups alike!

Watch The Little Prince Trailer here 

Age suitability: Suitable for children young and old

Duration - 60 minutes, no interval

People on road -  7(4 dancers, 2 technicians, 1 choreographer/rehearsal director)

Freight and excess baggage - details available in technical rider: more information here

Wraparound Activity: workshops for families and children (including preschoolers and primary ages – KS1 & 2) as well as older people interested in the exploring memories of ‘inner child’. Youth workshops; Post-show talks and mentoring are also available.

Protein strongly recommends that pre and post show foyer activities are put in place by the venue; the company has suggestions and come with materials in place.

Co-Commissioned by The Place and Dance East. Supported by The Point Eastleigh, Warwick Arts Centre and Dance City.

May Contain Food, May Contain You (2016)

Have you ever been swayed by the packaging of a new, organic product? Is it better to buy locally? Or maybe you should you be a vegetarian?

May Contain Food, May Contain You is a fun and entertaining performance, especially adapted for rural audiences, performed in community centres, village halls and similar social spaces. Enjoyed with friends and family, Protein transform local venues into a pop up restaurant with a twist promising a musical dining experience with dance and drama!

Audiences are invited to bring a dish and sit at decorated tables whilst the evening’s charming and multi-talented hosts win affections, with a playful mix of dance, song and humour.

Watch the Trailer here

★★★★ "...lip-smacking fusion of song, dance, mime and sweet aperitif tomatoes." The Guardian

People on road -  4 (2 dancers, 1 technicians, 1 choreographer/rehearsal director)

Duration 60 minutes, no interval

Age suitability: 12 + (guidance only – families welcome)

Freight and excess baggage, details available in technical rider: more information here

Note: The show is performed in the round with the performance space being set up as a restaurant. Protein provides its own tables.

Each show can seat up to 100 people, the company can perform 2 x shows per day.

Wraparound Activity: masterclasses for professional dancers; Youth workshops; Post-show talks and mentoring can be organised alongside booking the main show.

Care home show: Please note our show May Contain You – for care homes can be performed in conjunction with May Contain Food, May Contain You.

May Contain You – Protein’s show for care homes (2016)

As part of the company’s spring 2017 tour of May Contain Food, May Contain You, Protein visited sixteen different care homes and residential centres with a specially adapted version; May Contain You. Using dance, singing and the familiar subject of food we offer older people and opportunity to connect with others.

The show is about us bringing light and laughter to a community who rarely get the chance to have a 'change of scenery'.

Watch May Contain You Trailer

May Contain Food (2015) 

A playful and 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 

Age Guidance: 12+

Duration 80 minutes, no interval

People on road - 11 (4 dancers, 4 musician, 2 technicians, 1 choreographer/rehearsal director)

Freight and excess baggage, details available in technical rider: more information here

Note: The show is performed in the round with the performance space being set up as a restaurant. Protein provides its own tables.

Each show can seat up to 100 people, the company can perform 2 x shows per day.

Wraparound Activity: masterclasses for professional dancers; Youth workshops; Post-show talks and mentoring can be organised alongside booking the main show.

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 (2017)

(Original production 2014, presented in the round)

Border Tales is a punchy yet poignant commentary on multicultural Britain, using dance, live music and dialogue compiled from the performers’ personal experiences. Brought back and presented in what we now know as a ‘post-Brexit’ Britain, Border Tales looks at our country, seen through the eyes of an international cast and gazes satirically on stereotypical thinking and migrant outsiders. Silvestrini turns his sharply satirical gaze to stereotypical thinking, tolerance and where lines are drawn between 'them' and 'us'.

‘"The desire to bring back this piece of work created in 2013 comes primarily from the moment we are living in…I feel it is important to bring back these simple yet relevant tales of migration and identity, to both remember the past and to reflect about today.' Luca Silvestrini

With a score by Andy Pink and additional music by Anthar Kharana, performed live on stage, and lighting by Jackie Shemesh, Luca Silvestrini’s acclaimed comic dance theatre provokes and entertains.

Watch the Border Tales Trailer here 

★★★★★ "Funny, thought-provoking and consistently entertaining, Border Tales celebrates our differences, acknowledges our sameness and does more to repair the rifts than politics ever could." The Scotsman

Age Guidance: 12+

Duration: 75 minutes, no interval

People on road: 10 (6 dancers, 1 musician, 2 technicians, 1 choreographer/rehearsal director)

Freight and excess baggage, details available in technical rider: more information here

Wraparound Activity: masterclasses for professional dancers; Youth workshops; Post-show talks; Mentoring and curtain raisers can be organised alongside booking the main show.

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.

(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).

Having recently performed in Stockton as part of Stockton International Riverside Festival and Hull as part of the City of Culture Celebrations (in)visible Dancing has performed in 14 towns and cities nationwide, as well as reaching international audiences in Rovereto, Italy. Protein looks forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of (In)visible Dancing in two years’ time, making way for a very special outdoor spectacular.

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.

Watch (In)visible Dancing Trailer
Get an insight to behind the scenes at Hull, City of Culture 2017 here 

“The essence of what City of Culture should be - diverse, inclusive and quality. I stood transfixed with joy” Martin Green, Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017

Age Guidance: for all ages

Duration: usually over 7-10 days; 30 minutes for each show, twice a day which culminates in a Finale event (60 mins in length)

People on road: 8 (6 dancers, 1 project manager, 1 choreographer/rehearsal director)

Local cast: (6 apprentice dancers, 1 apprentice project manager, 5 musicians,

Final performance: up to 12 local groups and performers plus local individual participants for the Flashmob (as well as the core team of dancers and local cast)

Freight: Excess baggage only, no technical requirements - more information

Wraparound Activity: The project is a professional show with a community cast and so all activity with Protein’s residency will engage the local community. The company will work closely with the venue / festival to build these partnerships as well as a local ambassador brought on especially for the project.

The structure put in place offers mentoring for the short-term apprentices.

An International Dance Festival Birmingham production.
Premiere May 2010.

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.

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 ****

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

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.


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)