Facing Front: Lectures and Performances by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion

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1/3: Counting to One Hundred. Photo by Herman Sorgeloos. Pictured, from left to right: Matteo Fargion, Jonathan Burrows.
2/3: Cheap Lecture and The Cow Piece. Photo by Herman Sorgeloos. Pictured, from left to right: Matteo Fargion, Jonathan Burrows.
3/3: Both Sitting Duet, 2002. Photo by Herman Sorgeloos. Pictured, from left to right: Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion.

Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Anna Drozdowski, a curator of performance, hosts European duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion for a two-week retrospective of their collaborative career. Describing what they do as “handmade and human-scale,” the two have built a body of duets which juxtapose the formality of music composition with a radical and open approach to performance, composition and audience.

Their complex frameworks combine non-spectacular elements to arrive at a deceptive virtuosity, radiating delight and activating our brains. Run through with humor and wit, while retaining a sense of formality, these friends and collaborators show us how compelling a simple score can be.

In addition to eight unique performances of their duets, the two-week period includes workshops open to performers across genres, post-performance chats, and a booklet containing essays, photos, scores, interviews, and commentaries.

Friday, June 26

7 p.m. — “Show and Tell” and “Rebelling Against Limit”
9 p.m. — “One Flute Note”

Saturday, June 27

7 p.m. — “Body Not Fit For Purpose” and talk
9 p.m. — “Cheap Lecture” and “The Cow Piece”


thINKingDance writer Carolyn Merritt reported on Pasión y Arte’s highly successful First Philadelphia Flamenco Festival with Rosario Toledo.

Collaborators & Colleagues

royal hartigan is a percussionist, pianist, and tap dancer. He has studied and performed the music of Asia, Africa, Europe, West Asia, and the Americas, and is versed in the traditions of African American blues, gospel, funk, hip-hop, and jazz. He served as a Center Performance panelist in 2014 and a Performance LOI panelist in 2015.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jenelle Porter is senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Prior to that, she curated at Artists Space in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Singers is a professional choral ensemble with a commitment to preserving and strengthening America’s rich choral heritage.

The Painted Bride Art Center commissioned an evening-length work by choreographer Cynthia Oliver, who also participated in a weeklong residency of workshops and film screenings.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Rajagopalan, associate artistic director and principal dancer of Chicago’s Natya Dance Theatre, discusses her perspective on co-authorship—one that stands in relation to a time-honored form.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2008, Tiny Dynamite presents theater works by contemporary British and Philadelphia playwrights in both traditional and unconventional settings.

Curator Lee Tusman on curating a site-specific performance informed by and presented at the Barnes Foundation.

“Connecting Through Story: Lives Lived Apart” is the result of an oral history and photography project connecting Pennsylvanians with and without intellectual disabilities.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Lucinda Childs is one of America’s most important modern choreographers and an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Julie Carr is the author of several books of poetry, co-publisher of Counterpath Press, and a 2011 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.