Jonathan Burrows - Matteo Fargion
by and with Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion
co-production Dance Umbrella London
supported by Arts Council England, Kaaitheater Brussels and Sadler’s Wells Theatre London
management Nigel Hinds
Running time 45'
Choreographer Jonathan Burrows and composer Matteo Fargion return again to Modena with their 2006 hit Speaking Dance and the most recent of their duets Counting To One Hundred, which opened in Munich in 2011.
For the past ten years Burrows and Fargion have been focussing on a body of work built upon ideas drawn from classical music composition, which they tease apart and challenge with performances of rare openness and skill. Speaking Dance and Counting To One Hundred capture the unfolding narrative of rhythm, counterpoint and complicity towards the spectator which characterise their performances.
The two artists describe what they do as 'handmade and human-scale'. It is built from simple, non-spectacular elements, but arrives often at a deceptive scale and virtuosity which radiates delight even as it makes the audience think.
Jonathan Burrows - Matteo Fargion
He was born in 1960. He danced with the Royal Ballet for 13 years,
rising to the rank of soloist, before leaving in 1991 to pursue his own choreography.
After touring with his own company for some years he decided in 2001 to concentrate on one to one collaborations with other artists, who would share the conception, making, performing and administrating of the work. His first collaboration was Weak Dance Strong Questions (2001), made with the theatre maker and performer Jan Ritsema, which toured to 14 countries. This was followed by a series of duets with Matteo Fargion, beginning in 2002 with Both Sitting Duet, followed by The Quiet Dance (2005), Speaking Dance (2006). Cheap Lecture (2009) and The Cow Piece (2009). The two men have now given over 200 performances across 28 countries. Both Sitting Duet won a 2004 New York Dance and Performance 'Bessie' Award, and Cheap Lecture was chosen for the 2009 Het
Theaterfestival in Belgium. In 2010 he also made Dogheart, with the dancer Chrysa Parkinson. Other high profile commissions include Sylvie Guillem and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, and in 2008 he was Associate Director for Peter Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other at the National Theatre, London. Burrows has been an Associate Artist at Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Gent, Belgium (1992- 2002), London’s South Bank Centre (1998/9) and Kaaitheater Brussels (2008 -). In 2002 he received an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts In New York, in recognition for his ongoing contributions to contemporary dance. He is a visiting member of faculty at P.A.R.T.S, and is also Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University Of London, Hamburg University and the Free University Berlin. He holds an
Honorary Doctorate from Royal Holloway University of London. 'A Choreographer's
Handbook' (2010) by Jonathan Burrows is available from Routledge Publishing.
He was born in Milan 1961. He studied composition with the composers
Kevin Volans and Howard Skempton, and after graduation played bass guitar for a time in the rock band headed by Chris Newman, a formative experience of live performance.
His interest in contemporary dance began after seeing the Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, returning the following evening to give flowers to the dancers. This experience encouraged him to apply for the International Course for Choreographers and Composers, where he first wrote music for dance, and through which he met the choreographer Jonathan Burrows with whom he has collaborated for more than twenty years. Since 2002 Burrows and Fargion have made a series of five duets conceived, choreographed, composed, administrated and
performed together. Both Sitting Duet (2002), The Quiet Dance (2005), Speaking Dance (2006), Cheap Lecture (2009) and The Cow Piece (2009) are still touring, and the two men
have now given over 200 performances across 28 countries. Both Sitting Duet won a 2004 New York Dance and Performance 'Bessie' Award, and Cheap Lecture was chosen for the 2009 Het Theaterfestival in Belgium. Fargion has written music for other choreographers including Lynda Gaudreau and Russell Maliphant. Most importantly over the past fifteen years he has developed a strong collaboration with the leading English choreographer Siobhan Davies, writing music for some of her most significant recent work including The Art of Touch (1995), Two Quartets (2007) and Minutes for the Collection
(2009), in which he also performed. Fargion writes also for theatre, particularly in
Germany, where he has worked over a number of years at the Residenz Theater Munich,
and at the Berlin Schaubühne under the direction of Thomas Ostermeier, for whom he wrote music for the prize winning 2004 production of Jon Fosse's new play The Girl on the Sofa. Matteo is a visiting member of faculty at P.A.R.T.S.