BOOK FOR Both Sitting Duet & Body Not Fit For Purpose - May 6 (8pm)

BOOK FOR Cheap Lecture The Cow Piece - May 7 (5pm)




Situated somewhere between dance, music, live art and comedy, the work of choreographer Jonathan Burrows and composer Matteo Fargion is intellectually provocative and delightful. Over the past twelve years the two artists have built a body of duets which mix the formality of classical music composition with an open and often anarchic approach to performance and audiences, bringing them an international following.

Burrows and Fargion have been close collaborators for many years and continue to perform their work all over the world, winning a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Both Sitting Duet in 2003, and presenting their most recent piece Body not Fit For Purpose as part of the Venice Biennale in 2014. Burrows has recently finished two years as associate artist at Belgium's prestigious Kaaitheater, and his A Choreographer's Handbook has sold over 10,000 copies. 2016 saw Burrows and Fargion's complete a year long online project called 52 Portraits, which released a gestural portrait of a different dancer every week throughout the year, attracting an online audience across 100 countries - The pair have recently had major retrospectives in Lisbon, Porto, Philadelphia, Bologna and Barcelona.

BOTH SITTING DUET was the piece that made their reputation back in 2002, setting the tone for an original mix of humour and fierce intelligence that marks out what they do. In Melbourne,  they willl follow it with their newest performance BODY NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE, a commision from the 2014 Venice Biennale which clashes politics against the empty joy of dancing, unravelling the link between meaning and action and raising questions in the midst of our laughter. 

CHEAP LECTURE (2009) initiates a game with the structure of John Cage's Lecture On Nothing and THE COW PIECE (2009) then re-stages the lecture as a riotous celebration of the limits of logic, as 12 plastic cows dance, sing, speak, think, sleep, go, come and die.


Dates & Times: 
CHEAP LECTURE  & THE COW PIECE - Sunday May 7, 5pm
Duration: 60 mins
Where: Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse 
Cost: $25 F | $20 C | $15 DH Members

BOOK FOR Both Sitting Duet & Body Not Fit For Purpose - May 6 (8pm)

BOOK FOR Cheap Lecture & The Cow Piece - May 7 (5pm)


READ ABOUT LEARNING CURVE WITH JONATHAN BURROW & MATTEO FARGION - a five day workshop, introducing some of the ideas behind their performances at Danehouse Melbourne



There are few performers who can hold an audience captive like this double act… the timing of every note, shrug, laugh and gesture is awesome. Five stars."

                                                                                                                                 - The Guardian, London

Occasionally feeling gloomy during some performance or other, I've wished that a fed-up theater goblin would whisk away the show I'm watching and deposit Burrows and Fargion in its place."

                                                                                                          - Deborah Jowitt, DanceBeat, New York


Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion have been working together since 1989, and their ongoing series of duets go on touring all around the world, with recent retrospectives in Lisbon, Porto, Philadelphia, Bologna and Barcelona. Their work is hard to place, combining intellectual rigour with unexpected humour, but it has its roots in a shared love of classical music, which they clash against an approach to performance that is at once open to audience but also anarchic and joyful.

The two men are currently touring 10 pieces internationally, and have just finished a year long online project titled 52 Portraits, which released a different gestural portrait of a dancer every Monday throughout 2016. Their most recent duet Body Not Fit For Purpose was a commission from the 2014 Venice Biennale, and in spring 2016 they premiered a new installation as part of the Derra De Moroda Archive exhibition at Salzburg Contemporary Art Gallery. Burrows' 'A Choreographer's Handbook' has sold over 10,000 copies since its publication in 2010. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University. Fargion also writes music for theatre and teaches international composition workshops for choreographers.

Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion are co-produced by Kaaitheater Brussels, PACT Zollverein Essen, Sadler's Wells Theatre London and BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen, and are currently in-house artists at the Nightingale, Brighton England.



The Forsythe Company Motionbank project



A Dance Sites project in partnership with Critical Path (Sydney) and STRUT (Perth).

Both Sitting Duet was supported by public funding through the National Lottery from Arts Council England and co-produced by Kaaitheater Brussels.

Body Not Fit For Purpose was commissioned by the Venice Biennale and supported with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Cheap Lecture was commissioned by Cultureel Centrum Maasmechelen and Dans in Limburg and The Cow Piece was supported by public funding through the Flemish Ministry and Kaaitheater Brussels.



Photo: The Cow Piece, Circulo Ufficiali Bologna 2017, photo by Luca