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Paul Lazar's "Cage Shuffle" with Choreography by Annie-B Parsons Opens John Cage's "Japan"

Paul Lazar's "Cage Shuffle" with Choreography by Annie-B Parsons Opens John Cage's "Japan"


Japan Society


Japan Society
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY


Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 7:30pm daily through September 29, 2023



Japan Society

Cage Shuffle

Created and Performed by Paul Lazar

Choreographed by Annie-B Parson

“Cage Shuffle is beautiful, profound and hilarious—as all things should be.” - David Byrne 


Opening John Cage's Japan at Japan Society

An Original Performance Series Celebrating the Composer's Relationship with Japanese Culture


Two Nights Only:

Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 pm - Followed by a Private Gathering for Artists and Members

Friday, September 29 at 7:30 pm - Followed by an Artist Q&A 

Tickets to each show are $35; $28 for Japan Society members

Tickets On Sale Now at JapanSociety.org


Discover Cage Shuffle, the critically acclaimed 50-minute spoken-word solo work comprising a randomly determined set of texts taken from John Cage's 1963 "score," Indeterminacy. In this captivating performance, the beloved New York performer Paul Lazar brings dozens of Cage’s personal anecdotes to life, following the composer's notated instructions to present each aloud in exactly one minute. Through a mesmerizing blend of spoken word and meticulously choreographed movement by Tony Award-winner Annie-B Parson, audiences are treated to a thrilling experience where text and motion intertwine, creating connections that amuse and provoke contemplation. This production has wowed audiences worldwide since its 2017 premiere in New York but, for this one-of-a-kind John Cage's Japan performance, Lazar has packed the overall deck of roughly 200 pieces with handpicked Cage commentary on Japanese themes, Zen philosophy, and reminiscences as well as quotes from Cage's noteworthy friends and contemporaries, including D.T. Suzuki, Isamu Noguchi and Hidekazu Yoshida.

Cage Shuffle is the opening performance in Japan Society's multi-month celebration of the special relationship between the iconoclastic American composer John Cage and the country of Japan. When Cage first toured Japan in 1962, the resulting series of concerts served to draw attention to the rhymes between his works and the sounds of avant-garde and classical Japanese music, cementing him as a pivotal artistic figure in the East and reinforcing many of Cage's creative impulses. Cage would continue to visit and perform in Japan multiple times throughout his life. Indeed, as Japan Society's Artistic Director Yoko Shioya boldly posits, "If John Cage had not encountered Japanese culture, there would have been no John Cage!" In support of this assertion, Japan Society presents John Cage's Japan, an original series of Cage-centric programming scheduled to take place this fall and winter at the Japan Society auditorium at 333 East 47th Street.


Paul Lazar - Photo © Martin Rottenkolber

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