Any Table Any Room

Lead Author:

Jonathan Burrows


Matteo Fargion



Unit of Assessment

33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Output Category:

I - Performance

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Any Table Any Room (performance)

Video documentation of performance at Triennale Milan, 2019

Summary Statement (300 words)

Any Table Any Room is a practice-based investigation into the limits and possibilities for individual agency and at the same time togetherness within choreographic practice as shared resource.

In each new city, four local dance artists are invited to join choreographer Jonathan Burrows and composer Matteo Fargion as part of a three day process leading to a performance on the third day. The process invites participatory conversation about the paradoxes of choreographic practice and the limits of autonomy available to individual dance artists within the set frameworks of a piece. It investigates and questions the possibilities and limits of shared form, using scores not as a restrictive set of rules but as agreement between performers to foment moments of potential negotiation and relationship.

The shared scores for Any Table Any Room are a translation of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 1969 vocal piece Stimmung, which itself explores freedom and collectivity within the group. The key principle of Stockhausen’s piece is that each section has a designated leader whose role is to recognise when the previous block has ‘integrated’, at which point they may initiate the next. This leadership by retrospective recognition of collective decision, is the inverse of the leader as predictor of future action and so offers a tool for questioning hierarchies of decision making.

The project builds upon Burrows and Fargion’s long experience of working with performance scores, as well as drawing upon a wider community of practice in contemporary dance within which ideas of togetherness and autonomy continue to be challenged, particularly the artistic research of Katye Coe and Charlie Morrisey,1 Deborah Hay,2 Lisa Nelson,3 Chrysa Parkinson4 and Xavier Le Roy.5

Outcomes for this research include ongoing performances; conversations with invited artists and public; publicly accessible video; collation of scores; workshops; notebooks and prepared writing and lectures.


  1. Katye Coe and Charlie Morrissey Preparation (2015) and shared practice at Coventry University 2016
  2. Deborah Hay Solo Performance Commissioning Project (1998-2002), The Match (2004)
  3. Lisa Nelson Tuning Scores (1980s-)
  4. Chrysa Parkinson teaching and conversations (2000-)
  5. Xavier Le Roy Project (2003), Low Pieces (2011)


Contextual Information

Header Image Credit

Any Table Any Room. Clay objects made by Scott Smith. Choreography: Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion; Photograph: © Jonathan Burrows (2017)