52 Portraits is a digital project by choreographer Jonathan Burrows, composer Matteo Fargion and video maker Hugo Glendinning. A short gestural portrait of a dancer or performer was released every Monday throughout 2016.

The 52 subjects were drawn from the vibrant London scene, as well as from companies passing through Sadler’s Wells during the course of the year. Each portrait is a very personal dance, filmed sitting at a table and accompanied by Matteo singing their autobiography based on a tune of their choice. Participants are of all ages, disciplines and cultural backgrounds, including both well-known performers and makers and younger artists.

52 Portraits builds on the success of the Olivier Award nominated The Elders Project, made by Burrows and Fargion in 2014 for Elixir Festival at Sadler’s Wells. Like The Elders Project, this will be an epic love song written to an art form. Reactions to the portraits made so far have testified to the profound, funny and surprising power of the project, which reveals the stories, thoughts and struggles of dancers in an unprecedented way.

Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion, Hugo Glendinning

Choreographer Jonathan Burrows has worked with composer Matteo Fargion for twenty-five years, building an ongoing body of work that continues to tour widely internationally. The two men are co-produced by Kaaitheater Brussels, PACT Zollverein Essen, Sadler’s Wells Theatre London and BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen, and are currently in-house artists at the Nightingale Brighton. Burrows is a visiting member of faculty at P.A.R.T.S Brussels and has also been Guest Professor at universities in Berlin, Gent, Giessen, Hamburg and London.

Matteo Fargion is a composer, performer and teacher. He studied with Kevin Volans and Howard Skempton, and his music has been performed by leading players worldwide. Matteo has worked in dance and theatre for many years, collaborating with choreographers and directors here and abroad, including his ongoing work with Jonathan Burrows, as well as several collaborations as composer and performer with Siobhan Davies, and with Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne Berlin.

Hugo Glendinning has been working as a photographer and film maker for twenty-nine years, with an output stretching across the cultural industries from art collaborations, through production and performance documentation to portrait work. He has worked with most leading British theatre and dance companies and has collaborated in particular for many years with Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment Theatre Company.

See more on the 52 Portraits website.


52 Portraits: a year of solos capturing dancers’ fears and freedom (The Guardian, 9.8.2016)
At 52 Portraits, the Stories Behind the Dancers (The New York Times, 24.8.2016)
Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion & Hugo Glendinning – 52 Portraits (DanceTabs, 30.1.2017)