Feature: On Choreography

Wednesday 18 August 2010

'Both Sitting Duet'Jonathan Burrows

A Choreographer’s Handbook By Jonathan Burrows
Price: £14.99 Binding/Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-415-55530-2 Imprint: Routledge *Pages: 228 pages Available on amazon.co.uk

Jonathan Burrows was a dancer with the Royal Ballet for the early years of his career and was a soloist when he left in 1988 to make his own work – with the newly formed Jonathan Burrows Group. In the 1990s he choreographed a piece for Sylvie Guillem – Blue Yellow, filmed by Adam Roberts and he also made work for William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt.

Since 2002 he has collaborated with the composer Matteo Fargion on a series of duets: *Both Sitting Duet* (2002), The Quiet Dance (2005), Speaking Dance(2006) and Cheap Lecture (2009). The duo have now given over 170 performances of this work in 24 countries, including winning a 2004 New York Dance And Performance “Bessie” Award. Their work is deceptively low key, simple and simultaneously riveting.

We have three copies of Jonathan Burrows’ new book A Choreographer’s Handbook to give away! For your chance to win one, just answer this question: What is the name of Jonathan Burrows duet with Matteo Fargion which is premiered at Dance Umbrella this October? COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

Congratulations to our winners: Kavita Desai, Lauren O’Neill & Sarah Brett who answered The Cheap Lecture, with The Cow Piece.

A Choreographer's Handbook *A Choreographer’s Handbook* _is published by Routledge. The inspiration for it came from the workshops which he has run over many years for dance artists from widely differing disciplines and many of the participants are quoted and referred to throughout the book. It is intended primarily for ‘anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.’ For someone involved in making dance it’s sure to be an interesting read, with plenty of ideas and practical excercises. And even if you don’t agree with it all that could be useful: _’Throwing this book down should be as fruitful as picking it up’ says Burrows in his introduction.

It also has a much wider appeal as the kind of book anyone can pick up and see what page it falls open on for a random movement inspired thought for the day. Try: ‘Inspiration is useful if you can get it, but working is more useful’ or on dancing: ‘Let us begin with the idea that you know how to dance. Training is only sometimes a bonus’. There are some interesting reflections on ballet – Burrow’s first language of movement: ‘Ballet is a dance poised always on falling, and yet it never falls’ – and a great last line for a book which is likely to send you scurrying back to the beginning for more: ‘Forget all this’.

If you’ve seen Fargion and Burrows in action it’s fascinating to see text extracts from one of their works – *Cheap Lecture* – in print, laid out like concrete poetry and with explanation of the way that it is delivered – the pauses, emphasis and rhythm of speech.

Don’t expect a glossy coffee table number -there are no pictures -_’because pictures risk setting in stone an image of dancing that would only get in the way of your own peculiarities’._

'Cheap Lecture' Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion,Lilian Baylis Theatre Sadler's Wells, 13 - 15 Oct 2010 *Catch the UK premiere of Cheap Lecture in the
Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells as part of Dance Umbrella, 13 – 15
October, along with The Cow Piece. More details/online booking: www.sadlerswells.com

Check out Jonathan Burrows new website:

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