Both Sitting Duet
Frankfurter Rundschau, November 2002
Jonathan Burrows has come a long way. He started out as a dancer with the tradition-bound Royal Ballet, but went on to break away more and more radically from that aesthetic scene. Whilst his penultimate dance duet, Weak Dance Strong Questions, was performed without music and with normal room lighting, he has now turned the minimalism screw even tighter. He and his duet partner, the composer Matteo Fargion (pictured right), sit next to one another on chairs and dance with arms and hands: the performance, which was presented in the Kuntstlerhaus Mousonturm, is called Both Sitting Duet. A performance that becomes an event when, towards the end, both men stand up briefly and stamp their feet or make a rhythmic noise. How big the insignificant may suddenly seem. You can almost go into a trance if you concentrate on these arm and hand movements which are often fast, sometimes very intricate, by no means always in unison but always rhythmical and therefore amazingly exciting despite all the minimalism. Burrows and Fargion communicate with one another with brief glances, but they also have an exercise book lying on the floor in front of them in which the movement sequences are recorded in a kind of score. After 45 minutes of Both Sitting Duet, you wonder with quite enthusiastic anticipation how much further Burrows will take his minimalism. Presumably, he would also be able to choreograph an exciting reclining duet.