Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Program introduces performers from Japan’s contemporary and traditional music, dance and theater scenes, and commissions non-Japanese performing artists to create works on themes relating to Japan. Many distinguished artists have performed in the Society’s 260-seat theater and on Society-produced North American tours. Since 1953, Japan Society’s Performing Arts Program has inspired audiences in New York and beyond with over 1,000 productions ranging from traditional Japanese arts to contemporary theater, dance, music and more.

2023-2024 Season

John Cage’s Japan + Japan’s Radicals

A Note from Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director, Japan Society

John Cage, the 20th-century’s most important avant-garde artist, said that Japan had been an important part of his life and influenced his ideas. However, New York City, Cage’s home ground, has never had a concert focusing on the relationship between Cage and Japan. If John Cage had not encountered Japanese culture, there would have been no John Cage! This gutsy statement is the thought behind Japan Society’s fall 2023 season, John Cage’s Japan, which we proudly present 61 years after Cage’s first trip to Japan.

Borrowing Cage’s iconoclastic mindset, our spring 2024 season features fearless works that defy conventional perspectives of iconic Western culture— Hamlet, Boléro, The Dying Swan and hip-hop. These icons are innovatively reimagined, redisplayed or dissected by various contemporary performing artists from Japan.

This fall, celebrate the pioneering Japanese spirit of the global avant-garde through a special season of symbiotic, genre-crossing programming.

2023-2024 Season – Upcoming Events

2023-2024 Season – Past Events

Cage Shuffle
September 28 & 29, 2023
Part of John Cage’s Japan Series

October 21, 2023
October 22, 2023 – Newly Added!
Part of John Cage’s Japan Series

Noh-Opera / Noh-tation: Decoding John Cage’s Unrealized Project
November 16, 2023 – Preview Performance Added!
Part of John Cage’s Japan Series

Cage Shock
December 7, 2023 – Livestream Option Also Available!
Part of John Cage’s Japan Series

Cage Shock (Livestream)
December 7, 2023
Part of John Cage’s Japan Series

Hamlet | Toilet
January 10—13, 2024

Nihon Buyo Workshop
January 27, 2024

Past Events

To view a list of past events, visit the archives page.


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Top Image: © Julie Lemberger.

2023-2024 Performing Arts Season Support

The season is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Major support is generously provided by Doug and Teresa Peterson; Howard Gilman Foundation; and Hisamitsu America, Inc. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund, The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund, and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Additional support is provided by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Richard and Momona Royce, Nancy and Joe Walker, Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Dr. Jeanette C. Takamura, Estate of Alan M. Suhonen, and Friends of the Performing Arts. All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. is the official airline of the Japan Society Performing Arts Program. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.