Doing A Lot With Nothing Much

Johnathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion don’t do much in a piece of dance, writes Tobi Tobias. But what they do do is compelling. “Here’s what they do: shake their hands wildly in front of their chests, so their fingers look like sparklers; use one hand to count the fingers of the other with a child’s deliberation, as if the answer might be in doubt; stroke their palms along their trousered thighs; palpate the floor with their fingertips; curl their fingers into vivid mudras that yield no explicit meaning; extend their arms in semaphore signals or classical ports de bras. A couple of times they stand up for a few seconds, even go so far as to turn in place, repeating a raucous cry; once they shift the position of their chairs so that one lies in the other’s shadow. Such departures from what they’ve set up as the parameters of the piece have the impact of high drama—violent and haunting.”