Piano / Quartet

Piano/Quartet sets four superb dancers in motion, translating – as choreography – a series of striking and complex poems by John Cage, based on quotations by the painter Jasper Johns. You do not hear the poems, you see them danced. What you do hear is a selection of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (a Cage innovation) played by the masterful John Kameel Farah.

a poet writes using a painter’s words
a choreographer uses the poems as the score for a dance
the dance is performed to the music of the poet

As Peggy Baker explains: More than any other writing I know, Cage’s poems (he calls them mesostic texts) feel to me like choreography – in the way that a single idea is pulled apart and reconfigured repeatedly over an expanse of time, moving beyond the explicit language employed to call up images and juxtapositions that emerge, transform, catalyze, and dissolve.

Previous performances: Betty Oliphant Theatre , Toronto 2012; National Arts Centre’s Dance Series, Ottawa 2013


choreography: Peggy Baker

composer: John Cage

pianist: John Kameel Farah


Ric Brown

Andrea Nann

Sean Ling

Sahara Morimoto



…mesmerizing… Epic in scope, inventive in structure and emotionally nuanced.
— Michael Crabb, Toronto Star


Piano/Quartet is available for main stage touring.  Presenters with a password may view the full length video here: 

Bookings and information: Meredith Potter


Piano/Quartet, Toronto, 2012. Photography by John Lauener