A Matter of Impression, the new production from Sardoville performed in 2 parts

Sardoville (Darren Goldsmith)

A Matter of Impression, the new production from Sardoville, choreographed by Sardoville and Luca Silvestrini is a dance performed in two parts:

Impressed Upon

Impressed Upon, explores research into strange and macabre dance phenomena throughout history, namely the ‘dancing plague’ that swept Europe in the 1500’s and the dance marathons of the 1930’s.

Exploring themes of societal infringements and social constructs, it investigates the different ways in which people connect with and access dance as a means of expression and escapism.

Attempting to Impress

Attempting to Impress, choreographed by Luca Silvestrini, presents a show about a show; a revealing response to the company members’ ongoing enquiry into their own relationship with dance and their places within the world of performance.

The piece provides an biographical insight into what it means to be a new company, what it takes to create a new production and the process of selling that production to the dance world.

The programme is delivered in the company’s deconstructive signature style. Reinterpreting the double bill format, Sardoville replaces the traditional interval format to bring the backstage into view with choreographed set and costume changes. The evening becomes a single work, half of which is created in house and half created by a guest dance maker.

Who are Sardoville?

Established in 2014, Sardoville aims to raise awareness of socio-political themes whilst also promoting the wellbeing benefits of dance and art.

Using their erudite and irreverent humour, the company tackles diverse and challenging themes in a way that is accessible and engaging. With a combined professional experience of over 40 years, Sardoville consists of Phil Sanger, Azzurra Ardovini and Josh Wille.

The trio have worked together for over six years during stints at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Vincent Dance Theatre and independently produced research projects.

Their collective experience covers large-scale, site specific performances reaching millions, to small and intimate spaces meeting audiences of only 20.

Highly skilled dance performers and communicators, their complex and manifold breadth of expression allows them to span the physically impressive to the intellectually powerful and emotionally endearing.

Sardoville provides commentary on a broad range of subject matter with a thrilling combination of mundanity and virtuosity.

Sardoville (Darren Goldsmith)
Sardoville (Darren Goldsmith)

Meet the Sardoville team


Azzurra Ardovini

Born in Florence, Azzurra graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2006. As a freelance dance artist she has worked with Rosemary Lee, Jonathan Lunn, Freddie Opoku-Addaie, ENO and ROH. In 2008 she joined Henri Oguike Dance Company and later moved to Phoenix Dance Theatre where she worked with Lost Dog, Douglas Thorpe, Aletta Collins and Richard Alston. In 2012 she was released by the company to work with the Akram Khan Company for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. Since leaving Phoenix in 2013 she has worked in the UK, China and Belgium with choreographers Kim Brandstrup, James Cousins, Jorge Crecis, Carlos Pons (De Nada Danza), Opera North, Vincent Dance Theatre and Luca Silvestrini. In 2012 she was nominated for Outstanding Female Performer (Contemporary) at the 2012 Critics’ Circle Awards also graduating that year with a Distinction, MA in Contemporary Dance from LCDS. In 2014 she was accepted onto One Dance UK’s Leadership Mentoring Scheme.

Josh Wille

After 5 years performing with Phoenix Dance Theatre, Josh co-founded Studio 19, a dance and wellbeing centre in his home town, Kings Lynn. Josh has worked with over 20 different world class choreographers, touring nationally and internationally. As a freelance artist he has worked with Charlotte Vincent for Underworlds and Akram Khan, performing in the Olympic 2012 Opening Ceremony. Josh teaches at Northern School of Contemporary Dance as well as choreographing work for the CAT scheme through The Place (London Contemporary Dance School). Alongside creating his own choreographic work, Josh is also working on launching his own organic juice company as well as a healthy eating cafe and the expansion of the dance school business he currently runs.

Phil Sanger

Phil trained at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Whilst studying at NSCD Phil was selected to work with acclaimed choreographers such as Fin Walker, Hofesh Schector, Kim Brandstrup and Janet Smith.  In September 2016, the school appointed him Lecturer in Technique and Performance Practice. Between 2007 and 2016 Phil worked within numerous dance companies including Slanjayvah Danzaand Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company before working with Phoenix Dance Theatre where he stayed from 2009 to 2014. As a freelance artist he has performed works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Robert Cohan, Philip Taylor, Charlotte Vincent, Luca Silvestrini, Richard Alston, Aletta Collins, Rui Horta and Ivgi & Greben to name but a few. He has appeared in several digital media productions and his television credits include performance and choreographic assistance in BBC Three’s ‘Frankensteins Wedding’, and performance in the BBC mini-series ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’. Recent contracts include those with Denada Dance Theatre, Yorke Dance Project and Vincent Dance Theatre.

With generous support from the Dancers Career Development Phil has pursued additional training with the Coaches Training Institute. He is now a qualified Life Coach and a specialist in personal and professional development. This period of study has expanded the remit of his dance practice and also underpins the work he does as a dance lecturer and project facilitator. Phil is excited about the future with Sardoville, a performance collective that provides a route towards the fullest expression, in all that this could mean.

Choreographer Luca Silvestrini

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’s First Person, Catherine Seymour Dance Company, Lea Anderson and The Featherstonehaughs, Ruth Segalis’ Rose’s Thoughts, Bock & Vincenzi, Sarah Rubidge, Joanna Portolou and Aletta Collins. His choreography dates from 1997 when he co-founded Protein.

As Artistic Director he is known for idiosyncratic dance theatre provoked by its deep connections with the everyday. His personality is stamped on large-scale cross-generational and participatory events, including the world record-breaking Big Dance Class, Eat London (which won a Visit London Gold Award) and Big World Dance 2010, both of which took place in Trafalgar Square.

He has created full-length intergenerational productions in Valenciennes, Athens, Barcelona, London, Turin,  Kinosaki (Japan) and Wadebridge (Cornwall); and has taught and presented Protein’s participatory work at schools and conferences in Singapore, Spain, Italy and Canada.

In addition to his work for Protein, Luca has created work for the Royal Opera House, Transitions Dance Company, CandoCo, Bare Bones, Intoto, From Here To Maturity, Company of Elders at Sadler’s Wells, Sankalpalm, HeadSpace Dance, Verge and Sardoville. Theatre and opera credits include work for English National Opera, Theatre Rites, Royal Court Theatre, Duckie and Youth Music Theatre UK.

Awards include the Jerwood Choreography Award, Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and The Place Prize 2006 Audience Award. He was one of the first recipients of a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers (2006). In 2012 Luca and Protein were presented with a New Connections Award by the British Council in Italy for the valuable contribution made in developing closer relations between the UK and Italy. He is currently a ‘Work Place’ artist.

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8/ 9 June at CHISENHALE DANCE SPACE – book your tickets!