Border Tales

Awarding-winning dance company Protein peel back the stereotypes about multicultural Britain by sharing dialogue compiled from the performers’ own experiences in a show that has only become more relevant following the Brexit vote and the triggering of Article 50. Following a critically-acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it was nominated for the Carol Tambor Award, the show now tours the UK in November.

With wit, movement and live music, Luca Silvestrini’s Border Tales rejects the false dichotomy of immigrant outsiders and bigoted natives, preferring to view Britain through the eyes of its international cast.

Border Tales was developed from research conducted with migrants and refugees across Europe, Palestine, India and the UK, including participants from Islington Refugee Centre in a project hosted at The Place where Silvestrini is a Work Place artist. The show has had a sold-out run at The Place, a UK Tour in 2014, appearances at Greenwich Dances 2015, where the company is resident, and was broadcast on BBC World Service as part of their Identity season in 2016. After a sell-out run at Summerhall for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of The Place’s dance showcase, Border Tales tours to venues across the South and Midlands of England in November, including a week at The Place, London.

Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of Protein says:

“The desire to bring back this piece of work created in 2013 comes primarily from the moment we are living in. Back then, we were only at the start of a world crisis; four years down the line a lot has happened, resulting in a more divisive and intolerant co-existence. I feel it is important to bring back these simple yet relevant tales of migration and identity, to both remember the past and to reflect about today. This year’s restaging of Border Tales is not only a desire to make sure that more people can see it, but it is primarily a necessity to provoke and increase our capacity to talk and share stories of migration.”

Protein will tour an adapted version of their show May Contain Food to rural audiences next spring, following a successful tour in autumn last year. This is with the National Rural Touring Forum’s Rural Touring Dance Initiative. Alongside the return of Border Tales, they are also preparing to make a new version of their celebrated (In)visible Dancing recently seen as part of Hull 2017 UK City of Culture in June 2017.

Formed in 1997 and currently one of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre, Protein uses a blend of original choreography, humour and music to entertain and provoke audiences. The company’s idiosyncratic dance theatre work provoked by the everyday include B for Body, a Place Prize Finalist in 2006, and the award-winning LOL (lots of love), which has toured extensively since its 2011 debut, winning acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

Artistic Director Luca Silvestrini’s desire to connect theatrical experience with real life stories results in witty shows, both on- and off-stage, that reflect the absurdity in everyday situations and experiences. Born in Jesi, Italy, Silvestrini trained at Bologna University and Laban, he has worked on a number of large-scale cross-generational and participatory events, including the world record-breaking Big Dance Class, East London (which won a Visit London Gold Award) and Big World Dance 2010. He has won a Jerwood Choreography Award, a Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and The Place Prize 2006 Audience Award, and was one of the first recipients of a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers (2006). Protein was awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company 2011, and was nominated again in 2016. Protein is Associate Company with People Dancing, Resident Company at Greenwich Dance, Partner with Yorkshire Dance and ARC Stockton, and Luca Silvestrini is a Work Place Artist at The Place, London.

In our region, Border Tales will visit Mumford Theatre, Cambridge on the 8th November, 7.30pm. Tickets: £12.50 (£10 concs, £8.50 students), available from

For more information, further tour dates, or to book visit NOTE: Running Time 80 minutes. Suitable for ages 12+.