In Cage Shuffle Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score Indeterminacy while simultaneously performing choreography by Annie-B Parson. The stories are spoken in a random order with no predetermined relationship to the dancing. Chance serves up its inevitable blend of strange and uncanny connections between text and movement. With live tape and digital collage scored and performed by composer Lea Bertucci.

Cage Shuffle

The sequence of the stories is random.

The sequence of the dance is not.

The performer follows Cage’s original performance instructions:

“Read stories aloud, with or without additional musical accompaniment, paced so that each story takes one minute. Read all stories in order or select a smaller number, using chance procedures or not.”
-John Cage




March 22 & 23, 2024 Japan Society, NYC

September 28 & 29, 2023 Japan Society, NYC

February 15, 17, 19, 2022 Cage Shuffle Marathon, LaMaMa, NYC

December 6, 2020 Cage Shuffle: A Digital Duet, presented at Cena Contemporânea, Brasília, Brazil 

March 11-15, 2020 Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN

March 8 & 9, 2020 Princeton University

November 9 & 10, 2019 NYU Skirball Center, New York, NY

July 18 & 19, 2019 Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, NC

July 7 to 14, 2019 Spoleto Festival (LaMaMa Umbria) — Umbria, Italy 

June 22 & 23, 2019 Sibiu Festival, Sibiu, Romania

January 7, 2019 APAP – Lang/Bocanegra Theater, New York, NY

December 7, 2018 University of Texas at Austin

November 16 & 17, 2018 Base: Experimental Arts + Space — Seattle, WA 

November 14, 2018 Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA

October 10, 2018 URBANG Festival, Cologne, Germany

August 25 & 26, 2018 Tanz Im August Festival, Berlin, Germany 

July 20, 2018 Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH

March 9, 2018 NCAT, Northampton, MA

March 2, 2018 Harvard University – Boston, MA

October 24 – 25, 2017 DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

October 22, 2017 co-presented by The Poetry Foundation, Links Hall, Chicago, IL

August 14, 2017 A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery Northampton, MA

July 27, 2017 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

June 1, 2017 David Byrne’s: This Is How Music Works, The Town Hall, New York, NY

March 3 – 4, 2017 Poets House, co-presented by the Battery Park City Authority New York, NY

January 7 – 8, 2016 *WORLD PREMIERE*
American Realness Festival, Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY


Created by Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater

Conceived and directed by Paul Lazar
Choreography by Annie-B Parson
Music composed by Lea Bertucci

Performed by Paul Lazar with Lea Bertucci

Producer Aaron Mattocks
Production Manager Brendan Regimbal
Movement Coach Elizabeth DeMent

Cage Shuffle is a production of Big Dance Theater and made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additionally, the production received funding from the Starry Night Fund; the W Trust; the McGue Millhiser Family Trust; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program; and was also funded, in part, by the Big Dance Theater Creation Circle, lead individual contributors committed to the development and support of the company’s newest works.

Photos by Ian Douglas and Martin Rottenkolber

An impressive feat…always mesmerizing.” —Contemporary Performance


Paul’s ability to alter focus and gestural timings while delivering a stream of text is a neurological feat of its own, a virtuosic expansion of the multi-data stream performance legacy.” —Culturebot