Luca Silvestrini’s Protein presents: May Contain Food May Contain You

Taste, smell, touch and sight are invoked in a sensory dance theatre show served in an intimate cabaret-style setting.

06 February 2024 Posted by One Dance Team


Image credit: Chris Nash

Image credit: Chris Nash

Inviting audiences to think about the sensory, cultural and social implications of food whilst biting into a tomato, smelling freshly baking sticky ginger pudding and watching two performers dance for their suppers, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein’s popular refashioned version of May Contain Food will be touring this Spring. This special adaptation is a duet performed in more intimate settings close to communities in village halls and arts centres, set to music by acclaimed composer and published home cook Orlando Gough. Audiences are invited to join in by bringing and sharing homemade dishes and locally sourced or homegrown food for table picnics, and many venues will be partnered with a local foodbank.

Sat around themed circular tables designed by Yann Seabra, audiences will be encouraged to share their own stories, memories and anecdotes associated with food, as well as helping the performers bake a sticky ginger pudding live on stage in this informal, immersive cabaret-style show. Protein will also be bringing this sense of community and camaraderie to older and vulnerable people by taking a specially adapted version, May Contain You, into care homes alongside their national tour.

Speaking about the tour Luca Silvestrini said: “We are very excited to bring back this much-loved show and to continue our passion in reaching rural areas and their communities. Given the uncertainties, struggles and divisions of this moment in time, reuniting people around a table to celebrate, think and share food feels important and life affirming. We are delighted that Arts Council England and Rural Touring Dance Initiative are supporting this tour, which includes our dementia friendly adaptation of the show for care homes.”

Formed in 1997, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein is one the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre. The company is known for its unique style combining choreography, spoken word, humour and social commentary to present the everyday in revealing and subversive ways, on- and off-stage. Protein’s work, including Dear Body, LOL (lots of love), Border Tales, The Little Prince and dance film The Sun Inside, has toured the world. Protein was awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company 2011 and was nominated again in 2016. In 2023, they won The Stage Award for Community Project of the Year. Luca has won a Jerwood Choreography Award, a Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, The Place Prize Audience Award. He has recently been awarded the prestigious Premio della Critica by the Italian Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro for his work in dance. Protein is Artistic Resident Company at Woolwich Works and Luca is an Affiliate Artist at The Place.

Luca Silvestrini graduated in Performing Arts at University of Bologna and completed his dance training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Since then Luca has worked with Maxine Doyle, Catherine Seymour, Lea Anderson and The Featherstonehaughs, Bock & Vincenzi, Sarah Rubidge, Joanna Portolou, Ruth Segalis 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. In addition to his work for Protein, Luca has created and directed shows for other companies and organisations, including Royal Opera House, Wapping Project, Candoco, Intoto, Company of Elders at Sadler’s Wells, HeadSpace Dance, Verve, EncoreEast. His theatre and opera credits include English National Opera, Theatre Rites, Royal Court Theatre Duckie, Youth Music Theatre UK and Fondazione Teatro Delle Muse.

Orlando Gough a composer (and sometimes lyricist, librettist, music director, MC, recording engineer, cookery writer), who writes operas, choral music, music-theatre, music for dance and theatre, and creates large-scale site-specific work.