Frontiers Series 2018 - 15th January: Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion

Frontiers Series 2018 – 15th January: Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion

Tomorrow, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire warmly welcomes the internationally renowned collaborative duo, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion as they begin this years Frontiers series by giving a public performance of two of their pieces, Both Sitting Duet and Body Not Fit For Purpose. The performance will take place at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in The Lab at 19:00.

About The Performers:

Jonathan Burrows worked with the Royal Ballet as a soloist for 13 years before leaving to pursue his own choreography. Now, his main focus is an ongoing series of duets with the composer Matteo Fargion, which have gained an international following and continue to tour widely.

Matteo Fargion, studied composition with composers Kevin Volans and RBC’s very own Howard Skempton. His interest in dance began after seeing Merce Cunningham perform in London, which encouraged him to apply for for the International Course for Choreographers and Composers through which he met choreographer Jonathan Burrows.

Together, the two have worked closely for the past 28 years on a body of work they conceived, created and performed together. This work has become celebrated internationally for its rare combination of intellectual rigour and humour.

About The Pieces:

Both Sitting Duet was the piece that secured the reputation of Burrows and Fargion which is known for its unique combination of humour and intellectual rigour that defines their style.

In the preface to the score for Both Sitting Duet, Burrows writes: “The principle behind the making of Both Sitting Duet was – ‘Counterpoint assumes a love between the parts’. Both Sitting Duet is a direct translation, note for note, bar for bar, of the violin and piano piece For John Cage by the American composer Morton Feldman…The piece is performed sitting down, in silence. The choice to sit down was made in order that the two performers, one a composer, the other a choreographer, could be seen as either musicians or dancers. The material is built up of hand and arm gestures. The principle for finding these was ‘to accept what came easy’.”


Part 1 of Both Sitting Duet:


Commissioned from the 2014 Venice Biennale, Body Not Fit For Purpose is the duo’s first overtly political work. Taking the inadequacy of the dancing body to express that which is of concern as a starting point, the performance unravels the link between meaning and action, raising questions in the midst of the audience’s laughter.


Excerpt from Body Not Fit For Purpose:


More information about the pair and the work they have done together can be found here:


More videos of their performances can be found on YouTube, here:


For more information about what’s on in the Frontiers Series at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, please follow the link to our online Jan/Feb brochure: