Counting To One Hundred and One Flute Note
BELLYFLOP, London, October 7th 2012
Failure seems to currently be a stimulating topic, or trend even, in dance. Rudi Laermans briefly mentioned the concept in his presentation The Name Contemporary Dance, and Jolika Sudermann also brought it up in her recent interview with BELLYFOP. It definitely felt very present in last night's works by Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion, but failure is generally what forms the essence of their work as a duo... so, were they possible instigators of this trend?
In Counting to One Hundred & One Flute Note I am watching another of their musical and percussive compositions that take effort and focus to perform without mistakes. But (as a member of the audience) I know that they know that I know this, and so it is not about the virtuosity of being able to perform the tasks error-free, but about the pure attempt, which includes the possibility of failing. In the suspension between succeeding or failing, in some sort of Burrows & Fargion-equilibrium, I last night saw some very funny and beautiful moments.
Burrows & Fargion are both full of presence and obviously have no problem in being watched, so I could not but smile as I found myself studying them as closely as I could from my seat at the back. Every bit of them makes an important part of the work; their appearances, the similarity of their body shapes, how they each move, dance, sit, shout, sing, count, snap their fingers, and hold each others’ hands, the tonicity of their bodies and voices as they change with energy, volume, effort.
The risk of failure depends not only on the compositional aspects of their work but also on the two visual characters that they are. Together.
I believe Burrows & Fargion like to build things and I enjoyed watching them doing it in both of the pieces (I can't imagine seeing one piece without the other by the way). They need only a few tools (as per usual); chairs and no chairs, mics and no mics, words and no words, sound and no sound. Themselves. And produced from this was a lot of movement, movement other to that of their limbs and bodies moving in space, which to me occurred between the busy mapping going on in their minds and the effort expressed in what I would see and hear.
One of my favourite moments was the two of them doing a single nod in unison to the loud jungle beats playing at the end of One Flute Note.