This paper considers a 2004 performance of Nö Project II ‘Can’t’ is ‘Night,’ a collaboration of Japanese American dancer June Watanabe, Japanese nö master and Intangible Cultural Treasure of Japan Uchida Anshin, composer Pauline Oliveros, and poet Leslie Scalapino. The project, spearheaded by Watanabe, translated nö for a contemporary San Francisco audience, imbuing it with social and political meaning for California viewers. Watanabe translated nö’s internal concentration into a collaborative process she calls “being in the moment.” The performance became a way for collaborators and audience to examine values in art making and sociopolitical practice.
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