Luca Silvestrini’s Protein announces a multi-dimensional celebratory programme to mark the company’s 21st birthday. Since its first production in 1998, Protein has cemented its reputation as one of Britain’s most distinctive dance companies, blending bold and clever choreography with a great sense of humour while connecting theatrical experiences with timely and relevant issues. The anniversary celebrations draw on Luca’s choreographic practice and Protein’s tradition of working with a rich mix of dancers from across the community and the sector, including students in pupil referral units and the elderly. Protein 21 coincides with a UK tour and Christmas run for The Little Prince, along with further developments to the company’s plans to relocate to Woolwich Works.
At the centre of the celebrations is Protein 21, a three-part thematic programme based on remix, reflect and reimagine. The first part, Remix, is a three-minute film showcasing Protein’s extensive body of dance work made over the last 21 years, created using existing footage edited by film artist Alice Underwood. The company’s past productions include Border Tales, May Contain Food, and the award-winning LOL (lots of love) among many others. The film demonstrates the evolution of the company’s creative output and shows how its individual style established itself.
The second part, Reflect, zones in on people who have been associated with the company since its inception. In the filmed interviews, they recall how Protein has impacted on their lives and how the company has been shaped by the people who work with it.
As the third part, Re-imagine is a large-scale engagement project happening nationwide. Participants aged 11 – 75 years old are taking part in new dance works in response to Protein’s extensive repertoire. This includes Log On Like Me, inspired by LOL (lots of love), recently made by Protein’s dancer Miranda MacLetten for and with students from DanceEast’s Centre Advanced Training (CAT). There are also yet-to-be-confirmed performances by other groups taking inspiration from Border Tales, The Big Sale, May Contain Food and Dear Body. Audiences will be able to watch the performances on film, broadcast on Protein’s soon to be launched new website.
Protein’s quirky and charming take on The Little Prince tours to venues across the UK this autumn, before arriving at The Place in time for Christmas. Based on the world-famous philosophical novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the show premiered at DanceEast in Ipswich in 2018 before completing an extensive spring and summer tour, which included two sell out shows at the International Dance Center Theater in Shanghai. The surprise-filled adaptation uses dance, words and music to tell the iconic tale of a little prince who arrives on planet Earth from his own tiny asteroid.
Protein is also on the cusp of finalising a move to Woolwich Works. The re-developed Woolwich Royal Arsenal is a major new arts hub for the capital. Comprised of theatres, dance studios, restaurants and more, the destination will be home to high-profile arts companies including PunchDrunk and Chineke! Orchestra, the minority ethnic orchestra. While giving the company access to a permanent, world-class base, it will also continue its close connections with the wider Greenwich area.
Originally known as Protein Dance, the company was established in 1997 by Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler. Since its creation, Protein has expanded to touring internationally in 30 different countries to 63 cities. Protein is celebrated for its diverse breadth of work, with over 50 on-stage and off-stage shows, including large-scale participatory work and intergenerational placemaking productions. Participation is at the heart of Protein and they have worked extensively with community dancers in all kinds of settings.
Protein was awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company 2011 and was nominated again in 2016. 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.