Cage Shuffle is a 50 minute dance/theater solo. In Cage Shuffle Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score Indeterminacy, while simultaneously performing a complex choreographic score by Annie-B Parson. The stories are spoken in a random order with no predetermined relationship to the dancing, yet chance serves up its inevitable blend of uncanny connections between text and movement. Cage’s humor, intellect and iconoclasm find ideal expression in this new work which adds dance to Cage’s original performance instructions: Read stories aloud, paced so that each story takes one minute, using chance procedures or not.
Paul Lazar is a founding member and co-artistic director, along with Annie-B Parson, of Big Dance Theater. He has co-directed and acted in works for Big Dance since 1991, including commissions from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company and Japan Society. Outside of Big Dance, Paul directed Christina Masciotti’s Social Security at the Bushwick Starr in 2015, Elephant Room at St. Ann’s Warehouse for the company Rainpan 43 in 2012, and Young Jean Lee’s Obie Award winning, We’re Gonna Die in 2011. He directed a new version of We’re Gonna Die in 2015, featuring David Byrne, at the Meltdown Festival in London. He also directed Bodycast: An Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra starring Frances McDormand for the 2014 BAM Next Wave Festival; and Major Bang for The Foundry Theatre at St. Ann’s Warehouse. Paul has performed with The Wooster Group, acting in Brace Up!, Emperor Jones, North Atlantic and The Hairy Ape. Other stage acting credits include Tamburlaine at Theatre For A New Audience, Young Jean Lee’s Lear, The Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company, Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians at Soho Rep, Richard III at Classic Stage Company, Svejk at Theatre for a New Audience, Irene Fornes’ Mud at the Signature Theater, and Mac Wellman’s 1965 UU.
He has acted in over 30 feature films, including Snowpiercer, The Host, Mickey Blue Eyes, Silence of the Lambs, Beloved, Lorenzo’s Oil and Philadelphia. His awards include two Bessies (2010, 2002), the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award in 2007, and the Prelude Festival’s Frankie Award in 2014, as well an Obie Award for Big Dance in 2000. Paul currently teaches at New York University. He taught in the Theatre, Dance and Media Department at Harvard University (Spring 2018). He has also taught at Yale, Rutgers, Barnard, The William Esper Studio and The Michael Howard Studio.