Luca Silvestrini

Luca Silvestrini

Luca is Protein’s Artistic Director. He is known for his unique style of dance theatre combining choreography, text, humour and social commentary to present the everyday in revealing and subversive ways, on- and off-stage. Protein’s work, such as Dear Body, LOL (lots of love) and Border Tales has toured the world, from the USA to Russia, Columbia to Thailand.

Born in Jesi, Italy, Luca 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, Ruth Segalis’ Rose’s Thoughts, Bock & Vincenzi, Sarah Rubidge, Joanna Portolou 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. He has created full-length intergenerational productions in Valenciennes, Athens, Barcelona, London, Turin, Kinosaki, Japan and Wadebridge, Cornwall; and has taught and presented Protein’s participatory work at schools and conferences in Singapore, Spain, Italy and Canada. He’s a regular guest teacher in Community Dance Practice at Corso per Danzeducatore in Bologna and at Danzatori per la Comunità in Turin, Italy.

Through Protein’s Real Life Real Dance programme, Luca has created ground-breaking participatory performance opportunities for disadvantaged and disengaged people, including young people in alternative provision schools, hospitals, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

In 2012 Luca and Protein were presented with a New Connections Award by the British Council in Italy for the valuable contribution made in developing closer relations between the UK and Italy.

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

He has won a Jerwood Choreography Award, a Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, The Place Prize Audience Award and received a Rayne Fellowship. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Premio della Critica by the Italian Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro for his work in dance and in 2022 he received Premio Vallesina for Culture. Luca is Affiliate Artist at The Place.



“If there is a thorny subject to grasp, then Silvestrini has the unerring talent to wrestle it into a capsule of dance theatre […] he makes audiences happy and sad but leaves us thinking about that narrative intention long after the music has ended.”
Graham Watts, DanceTabs (Border Tales)
"Luca Silvestrini is the sharpest of comic choreographers; his satires on the shallowness and obsessions of the modern world were wickedly honed in works such as Big Sale and Dear Body. In LOL (Lots of Love), he takes on love and the social networks. And what makes this his best creation to date is not only the sparkle of the comedy, but the poignancy with which it is infused."
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
"There is a lot of humour and some gentle interaction with the audience. Luca Silvestrini’s The Little Prince fills the eye and the heart; and is an ideal family alternative to traditional Christmas shows."
Teresa Guerriero, Culture Whisper


In addition to his work for Protein, Luca has created commissioned pieces for the Royal Opera House (Windows in Progress), The Wapping Project (Stairworks, Six White Chairs, Ride), Transitions Dance Company (Soirée), CandoCo (Microphobia), Bare Bones (To the bone), Funny Bones (Go!), Intoto (Beauty Cells), From Here To Maturity (Engendered Species), Company of Elders at Sadler’s Wells, Sankalpalm (Corpo-realities), HeadSpace Dance (After the Interval, Before the Interval), Verve (Forth and Last), EncoreEast (In the End we Begin), Sardoville (Attempting to Impress) and Marche Teatro (FOOD). Theatre and opera credits include work for English National Opera (Bluebeard), Theatre Rites (Paradise), Royal Court Theatre (Family Plays), Duckie (Gross Indecency), Youth Music Theatre UK and Fondazione Teatro Delle Muse (Die Zauberflöte).


Awards and Accolades


One Dance UK Awards

Artistic Innovation in Dance Award - Luca Silvestrini for Home from Home


The Stage Awards

Community Project of the Year - There and Here


Premio Vallesina 2022, Italy

Award for Culture - Luca Silvestrini

Royal Borough of Greenwich Civic Awards, 2022

Arts and Entertainment Award - Luca Silvestrini's Protein


National Dance Awards, 2021

Best Modern Choreography - Luca Silvestrini for The Little Prince (nomination)


Los Angeles Dance Film (LAFA)

Best Musical/Dance Film - The Sun Inside

Premio Della Critica 2020 - ANCT, Italy

Critics' award - Luca Silvestrini

FIFTH WALL FEST 2020, The Philippines

The Sun Inside (Official Selection)

The Place

Luca Silvestrini - Affiliate Artist, 2020 - current

Fantastic for Families Award, 2020

Best Family Event - The Little Prince


People Dancing

Associate company, 2017-current

Lustrum Award for the Greatest Festival Moments

Summerhall Arts Award Festival - Border Tales

Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, 2017

Border Tales (nomination)


ARC Stockton Arts Centre

Partner company, 2016-current

National Dance Awards, 2016

Best independent Dance Company (nomination)


San Francisco Dance Film Festival, 2013

LOL (lots of love), filmed by HiBrow, shortlisted in Live Performance Relay category

Modul-dance Artist

Luca Silvestrini 2013-14


Greenwich Dance

Resident Dance Company 2012-18

British Council

New Connections Award, 2012


National Dance Awards, 2011

Best Independent Dance Company
Best Modern Choreography - LOL (lots of love) (nomination)

Theatre Awards UK, 2011

Outstanding Achievement in Dance - LOL (lots of love) (nomination)

Premis Ciutat de Barcelona, 2011

Special Commendation, Cruilles


The Place

Work Place Artist, 2010-current


DanceXchange, Birmingham

Associate Artist (Luca Silvestrini) 2009-14


Swindon Dance

Associate Company 2008-09


Rayne Fellowship 2006

Luca Silvestrini


The Place, London

Choreographers in Residence 2001-04 Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler


Rencontres Choreographiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis

2000 British Dance Edition UK shortlist Portrait Group and Duck

International competition for Choreographers 2000, Groningen, Holland

2nd Prize Duel

Bonnie Bird Choreography Award 2000

On The Couch

Jerwood Choreography Award 2000


You May Also Like…


Border Tales