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Luca Silvestrini’s Protein bring magic to The Place this Christmas!

For 21 years Luca Silvestrini’s Protein have been one of the companies at the forefront of dance theatre in the UK. With his company, Luca has pushed boundaries of what dance can be and who can take part, finding new contexts for dance theatre. Ahead of their new Christmas show for families at The Place, The Little Prince, we caught up with Luca to find out more.

Grace Nicol: So Luca, for those of us that don’t know, what is The Little Prince about?
Luca Silvestrini: Known as a children’s book for adults, or an adult’s book for children, The Little Prince is one of the most read and translated books worldwide. It is the story of a life-changing encounter between a stranded pilot and a boy dressed as a prince. The pair spend eight days together in the middle of the Sahara Desert. During this time the Little Prince tells the pilot all the wonderful and mind boggling discoveries he has made during his year-long adventure from his tiny Asteroid to planet Earth. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella is a universal and timeless story about friendship, love and the risks attached to growing up.

Grace: It’s a great story, what drove you to choose this story in particular?
Luca: I chose to make The Little Prince as I was attracted to the fact that behind its oddity, and apparent simplicity, it’s a critique about society and humankind. It’s a parable about life and the things that really count, like the responsibility we have towards those and the things we love. I like the way the book teaches us to maintain and nurture the child within us as an antidote to the regressive process of growing up, which takes us away from being guided by the heart.

Grace: I like that! So, who is the show for and when can we see it?
Luca: The Little Prince is for all ages and is the perfect family show at Christmas. It is at The Place in King's Cross from 17 to 24 December.

Grace: As it’s a Christmas show, I wonder, what is your favourite thing to do at Christmas?
Luca: Christmas is my favourite time of year for catching up on sleep and going on long walks, but most importantly, Christmas means reuniting with family and close friends in Italy.

 

Grace: And you have another celebration happening at the moment, it’s Protein’s 21st birthday, what are you doing to celebrate?
Luca: To celebrate our 21st birthday, we are launching Protein 21 which is a three-part thematic programme: Remix, Reflect and Reimagine.

Remix is a short film which will showcase Protein’s extensive and diverse body of work made over the last 21 years.

Reflect, zones in on people who have been associated with the company since the start. In the filmed interviews, released online over the coming year, they will recall how Protein has impacted their lives and how the company has been shaped by those involved.

Reimagine, is a nationwide engagement project. Participants of all ages will create new dance works in response to Protein’s shows. Our artists will work with elder’s performance groups, young people from National Centres for Advanced Training, pre-vocational dance students and community groups. Films of the Reimagine performances showcased on our website.

 

Photo from the production 'Border Tales'.
 

Nicol: It sounds brilliant, what else is next for Protein?
Luca: The nation-wide tour of The Little Prince continues in the new year and a specially adapted version for smaller venues will be created for the Rural Touring Dance Initiative. We are excited to return to China in August 2020 following a very warm welcome and full houses at The Little Prince’s first international tour date in Shanghai earlier this year. And I look forward to bringing the show to my home city of Ancona, Italy in March.  

We have been in Greenwich since 2012, originally at Greenwich Dance and for the last two years in Woolwich. Next year we will move to London’s newest arts centre, Woolwich Works, alongside other world class companies. There, we will deepen our roots in South London and reach out further afield to new communities and new places.

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Luca Silvestrini's Protein
The Little Prince
17 - 24 December
at The Place
Info and tickets: www.theplace.org.uk

 

Photo credits (above): Jane Hobson.
Film trailer credit: Roswitha Chesher