In the films, they recall how Protein has impacted their lives. Protein has been shaped as a company by each of these people.
Dance artist, Jon Beney, wholeheartedly recalls his history with Protein and the everlasting friendships that were created along the way.
“As a performer I’ve learnt so much, as a practitioner I’ve learnt so much, but as a human I’ve just gained a loving friendship that I will never, ever forget and I will always carry with me and that’s with every person that I’ve come across or worked with in Protein.”
Hear from Rosamaria Cisneros, Dance and Flamenco Historian, Roma Scholar and Peace Activist. Find out how she met Luca during a series of research interviews at DanceXchange and how she later got involved as a local dancer in Border Tales, presented as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham in 2014.
“It was just a really lovely time. Learning from Luca, learning from others, and seeing how he co-created and how things were process driven and also that interaction between the audience members and the cast and how he involved the community, the community cast as well as community members from the area wherever the show toured.”
PJ Hurst reflects on his history with Protein; from touring internationally with the award-winning LOL (lots of love), to his role as ‘the builder’ in the outdoor production, (In)visible Dancing, and his work with students from alternative provision schools as part of Real Life Real Dance.
“It was so rewarding, so good getting out there in the community and aiding people with dance.”
Yuyu Rau reflects on her decade of working with Protein; from her experience in the very first (In)visible Dancing, to her role in the mass-participatory work Crossroads, and her seven years as part of the cast of Border Tales.
“As a performer, Luca helped me to explore different possibilities and really pushed me beyond my comfort zone.”
Omar Gordon reflects on his relationship with Luca and Protein and his growth as a performer during his years performing in some of the company’s most acclaimed works B for Body, Ride and LOL (lots of love).
“We toured all over the world which was an absolute honour…we would be performing one day in Moscow, in Russia, and the next day, we’re in the Palestinian territories then in Tunisia and then back to the UK. It was wonderful.”
Jean Abreu reminisces on the early years of Protein, meeting Luca and Bettina as a student at Trinity Laban before performing in Protein’s Portrait with a Group and Duck (1999), Stairworks (2001), Publife (2002) and The Banquet (2003).
“I remember us being really young and fresh and I think that was the first batch of dancers Protein grew from. It was really incredible, formative years for me as a performer.”
Andy Gardiner reflects on his journey with Protein, travelling the world with ‘Border Tales’ and the universe with the many fantastic characters he plays in ‘The Little Prince’.
“I have really grown and just been given so much confidence and freedom to be able to go out there and be the performer that I want to be.”
Claire Smith celebrates our thriving relationship making and touring work in rural areas. Claire, Project Manager at RTDI, shares her memories of working with Protein on the rural adaptation of May Contain Food (which turned into the duet May Contain Food May Contain You) in 2016 and The Little Prince in early 2020.
“What was very evident from the get-go was that you [Protein] had a real passion for taking the work out to people that had never seen contemporary dance before and that you wanted it to be the very, very best that it could possibly be.”
Back in 2014-15, Sonoko Chishiro, who trained as a dancer at Rambert School, took on the role of Luca’s assistant and translator for Protein’s intergenerational work Crossroads.
Adapted for and with the people of the beautiful Onsen town of Kinosaki, Crossroads (commissioned by Japan Contemporary Dance Network with support from the British Council) was created and performed to an enthusiastic audience at Kinosaki International Arts Center on 26-27 June 2015.
Performer and dance artist, Thomas Goodwin has played a massive part in the development of Protein’s participatory and educational work; from Crossroads to There and Here (a piece inspired by the participants’ own stories in collaboration with Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants) to several performance projects with students in alternative provision schools.
Tom has also performed in To the Bone and created one of the most distinctive and loving characters in (In)visible Dancing.
“I have a warm spot in my heart for Luca’s perseverance, energy and vision for touching projects that are warm-hearted and often amusing and I think stick in people’s minds and hearts for a long, long time.”
Temitope Ajose-Cutting reflects on her relationship with Protein and growth as a dance artist during her many years performing in the award-winning Border Tales.
“Owning space and taking up space are really vital things for every dancer to find and Protein really allowed me to do that. Luca really works with you one-to-one to just hold that space.”
David Massingham, former CEO and Artistic Director of DanceXchange, and founder of its resident dance company Bare Bones, reflects on his long and lustrous history with Protein.
From programming Protein’s Publife in 2002 through to commissioning and producing the very first (In)visible Dancing in Birmingham for IDFB 2010, there have been lots of great collaborations and memories along the way!
“Bare Bones and Protein have shared many dancers over the years and I’m really proud of that association. I hope that we’ve helped to make a really great dance force for the UK today.”
Dance artist Pauline Huguet reflects on her history with Protein from the beautiful Lake Geneva. From performing for two years in Big Sale, assisting Luca in the participatory production of Valfresco in Valencienne, France to leading the community casts of Dear Body.
Pauline was also involved in Big World Dance and in Dancing Hospital, Protein’s first residency at Evelina Children’s Hospital, London.
Jacqueline Rose, Head of Culture (Acting) as part of the Culture Team at London City Hall and Director of Big Dance reflects on her two decades of history with Protein.
From supporting the company’s early years to commissioning Luca in the creation of mass participatory events like Big Dance Class, 2006 which won a Guinness World Record and Big World Dance, which brought 1000 Londoners to dance in Trafalgar Square on the hottest day of Summer 2010.
Luca Silvestrini reflects on his 21 year history as co-founder and Artistic Director of Protein with Graham Watts OBE Chairman, Dance Section of Critics’ Circle & National Dance Awards.
Patsy Ashford reflects on her history with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein which ranges from dancing on the streets of Birmingham in (In)visible Dancing to touring the world with LOL (lots 0f love).
Donna Lennard, soprano and Protein performer, reflects on her journey from opera singing to dance theatre performing in Protein’s May Contain Food and The Little Prince.
A reflects on the forum’s time performing in Protein’s (In)visible Dancing 2019 in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The Caribbean Social Forum, based at Tramshed in Woolwich, was started by “the matured children of the Windrush generation.” The forum is open to people aged 50+ and has over 400 members of the Caribbean and neighbouring countries.
Linda and Martyn Lewcock share their memories of being part of the first local community cast in Protein’s Publife in 2002 and 2004..
They performed alongside the Protein’s cast, not only locally (they started as the official London cast), but also on national and international touring.
After Publife, both Linda and Martyn continued their interest in dance and performance and both joined Company of Elders at Sadler’s Wells. Linda is also part of Boundless, Trinity Laban’s elders company, who feature in our Protein 21 Reimagine project.
Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at ARC, Stockton Arts Centre, reflects on ARC’s partnership with Protein over the years.
ARC Stockton worked alongside Protein on our inclusion programme, Real Life Real Dance with students from Bishopton Alternative Provision School.
Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and CEO of DanceEast, reflects on the history of his relationship with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein.
Dance artist, Sally Marie, reflects on her years of friendship with Luca Silvestrini and Protein.
One of Protein’s most charismatic performers, Sally first worked with Luca and Bettina in 2001. She later joined Protein, creating and performing memorable roles in B for Body (2006), Bear Body (2008) and LOL (lots of love) (2010).
Sally received nominations as Best Female Dancer (Modern) at the National Dance Awards for both her performances in Dear Body and LOL (lots of love).
John Griffith and Jason Wilkes performed in Protein’s Dear Body in 2008.
They initially auditioned to be part of the show at DancExchange in Birmingham, and ended up being part of the show’s local cast at Courtyard, Hereford and the Southbank Centre, London too.
Protein’s co-founder and choreographer, Bettina Strickler, recalls her history with Protein in a beautiful hand-made film.
Protein connects people and everyday life through dance.
Get Protein events, news and opportunities straight to your inbox by signing up to our e-bulletin. Your details will not be passed on to third parties.