Overview of work

Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion have been collaborating together since 1989, and their ongoing body of work goes on being invited around the world. Their practice combines performances both as a duet and in collaboration with other artists, as well as curating events, facilitating workshops, mentoring younger artists, writing, composing, sharing public talks and academic research work.

Burrows and Fargion's performances are hard to place, combining intellectual rigour with unexpected openess and humour. The work has roots in a shared love of the forms of classical music, which they clash against an approach to performance that is generous, anarchic and joyful. They tend to describe what they do as music, though it combines also gesture, dance, text, objects, projection and video.

Their ethos of working is that everything is shared equally, including conception of work, creation, rehearsal, performance and administration. They receive no permanent funding and so have no office or established production mechanism, but continue to be helped by occasional small scale funding from Arts Council England and co-production by PACT Zollverein Essen, Sadler's Wells Theatre London and BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen. Burrows and Fargion mostly work from home, which suits their practice and allows them also to co-parent with their respective partners Claire Godsmark and Janet Topp.

See also the official website for Burrows&Fargion:


Current touring includes the series Music For Lectures, which invites a speaker to give a talk which is then backed by a rock band. Speakers so far are Katye Coe in Music For Lectures/She Dancing (2018) and Mette Edvardsen in Music For Lectures/Every word was once an animal (2018)

Burrows is also touring his first full length solo piece Rewriting (2019), which takes the form of an intimate and increasingly complex memorised card trick of 108 cards with a simultaneous memorised talk.

Also touring is Any Table Any Room (2017) a project which invites four local artists in each city visitied to join Burrows and Fargion in the creation of a performance, which is shared with the public after three days of rehearsal.

Duets still being performed include Both Sitting Duet, Speaking Dance, Cheap Lecture, The Cow Piece and Body Not Fit For Purpose. The pair are now working towards the creation of a new duet.

Other recent performances include Let us stop this mad rush towards the end (2019), commissioned by London Contemporary Music Festival, conceived and directed by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, with dance and choreography by Claire Godsmark, singing and piano by Francesca Fargion and the London Contemporary Music Festival orchestra conducted by Jack Sheen

Burrows and Fargion's performances are often combined with the work of other artists as part of salon events which they have variously titled Return Of The Salon (co-produced initially with Stephen Brett, Kate Gowar and Janine Fletcher at the Nightingale Brighton), or Hysterical Furniture. The most recent edition of Hysterical Furniture was a four hour event in the long room of the Baroque Herrenhauser Palace in Hannover, co-curated with Hugo Glendinning and produced by Beate Schuler and Stefan Buchberger for the 2018 Kunstfestspiele Hannover. Salon events include always a meal shared with the audience, and live contemporary classical music by a living composer.

This more recent work in which Burrows and Fargion invite other artists to share the stage, or where they act as support within the work of other artists, comes from an interest in the idea that artists might visit each others work, not as collaboration but in the sense of being in service to each other's ideas.

A selection of recent writing by Jonathan Burrows can be found under the TALKS section of this website.