Cheap Lecture

Cheap Lecture/The Cow Piece by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion (England/Italy) is a double-billed production.

Cheap Lecture is a humorous art theoretic rap, a rhythmic text to music, performed by a dancer and a composer.

The title is a merging of two works by the composer John Cage: Lecture on Nothing, which is part of his texts about silence, and Cheap Imitation, an unrecognisable transcription of Erik Satie's Socrate for piano to choreography by Merce Cunningham.


(Objekt ID 17464)
Object type Production
Premiere September 8, 2011
Produced by Jonathan Burrows/Matteo Fargion
Based on Cheap Imitation by John Cage; Lecture On Nothing by John Cage
Audience Adults
Language English
Keywords Dance, Lecture, Multidisciplinary, Performance
Duration 60 minutes
Website Jonathan Burrows, BLACK BOX TEATER

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

The double-billed production Cheap Lecture/The Cow Piece by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion uses Cage and Cunningham as two central references.

Cheap Lecture chatters on about empty hands, the audience, time, repetition and dance. With this Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion continue a theoretical-humorous project leading from their prize-awarded trilogy with the paradoxical titles Both Sitting Duet (2002), The Quiet Dance (2005) and Speaking Dance (2006).

Cheap Lecture swings from the philosophical to the humorous and shows how artists work, mixed with continuous digressions. Cheap Lecture is immediately followed by the performance The Cow Piece (2009), a chaotic meditation over dance, music and mortality, breaking from the mentioned project.

Jonathan Burrows danced with the English Royal Ballet for 13 years before creating his own choreographies. His first collaboration was Weak Dance Strong Questions with Jan Ritsema. This production was performed during the festival Oktoberdans at BIT Teatergarasjen in 2001.

Later came a series of duets with rock bass player and composer Matteo Fargion, who began to write music for dance after seeing the legendary Merce Cunningham Dance Company.


BIT Teatergarasjen, autumn program 2011. 25.08.2011:

Contributors (5)
Name Role
Jonathan Burrows – Concept/Idea
Matteo Fargion – Concept/Idea
Jonathan Burrows – Performer
Matteo Fargion – Performer
Nigel Hinds – Producer
Performance dates
April 21, 2017Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) Show
October 19, 2013 21.00 – Røkeriet USF, USF Verftet Show
September 9, 2011 19:00 – Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
September 8, 2011 19:00 – Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche National premiere, Norway
Festivals (1)
METEOR October 19, 2013
Press coverage

“Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion have created a performance that dances in your head. It’s superb.”

– Avisa De Morgen, Belgium, about Cheap Lecture

"There are few performers who can hold an audience captive like this double act... the timing of every note, shrug and gesture is awsome. Five stars."

-The Guardian, London

"The funniest, richest, most life-enhancing evening I've had at anything associated with the 'dance' label this year (probably since their last one)."

-The web page