Luca Silvestrini

Luca Silvestrini awarded prestigious Italian Critics’ Prize for his work in dance

Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of Luca Silvestrini’s Protein has been awarded a prestigious Premio della Critica by the Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro (ANCT). The ANCT awards, given annually by Italy’s national association of theatre critics, exist to celebrate the vitality of the performing arts sector and to encourage and appreciate the work of artists, directors, writers and everyone involved in the making of theatre work. This year’s awards brought special focus to the strategic importance in Italian culture of the theatre industry, so heavily penalised by the pandemic.  The award was made in particular recognition of his company’s work in championing diversity and foregrounding unheard voices.

Hosting the award ceremony, Guilio Baffi, president of ANCT, said “Luca Silvestrini’s style of dance theatre combines choreography, text, humour and social commentary to present the everyday in revealing and subversive ways, on- and off-stage, and expresses a renewed sensitivity towards disability in the broad sense of the term, to diversity, to loneliness and shows how much desire there is to feel part of a community by working and creating together and in the latter period even at a distance.”

This year’s awards were held in a digital ceremony over the weekend, though it is hoped that an in-person prize giving will take place in Rome in Spring 2021. Other awards at the ceremony included a lifetime achievement award to Milena Vukotic, one to Misericordia by Emma Dante, and to Biennale Teatro’s Artistic Director Antonio Latella. A full list of award winners is included in the editor’s notes.

Speaking about the ANCT award, Luca Silvestrini said “I am delighted and honoured to have received this prestigious award from my country of origin, Italy. This is a wonderful climax to Protein’s year-long 21st anniversary celebrations, and it’s a great testimony to everything the company has achieved so far. As well as thanking ANCT for their commitment to celebrating our industry at a moment of great challenge and uncertainty, I wish to thank all Protein’s Italian partners and audiences, in particular Marche Teatro for their ongoing and invaluable support.”

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, Catherine Seymour, Lea Anderson and The Featherstonehaughs, Ruth Segalis, Bock & Vincenzi, Sarah Rubidge, Joanna Portolou and Aletta Collins. His choreographic career began in 1997 when he co-founded Protein. As its Artistic Director he is known for idiosyncratic dance theatre work provoked by everyday situations. 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.

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein has been celebrating its 21st birthday during 2020 with a digital programme, Protein21, which has included reflections on the company’s past work, a chance to view past repertoire via regular streams and new work responding to recent events, including the short film The Sun Inside, next showing at the Athens Video Dance Project from 18 Dec 2020.