The greatest impediment to using ‘intercultural performance’ as a paradigm for theorizing the global genesis, movement, and mutations of performance lies in its central term, ‘culture.’ Intercultural performance as an artistic practice and project has been similarly hobbled by the baggage of the ‘culture’ paradigm, as the (now extensive) critique of interculturalism attests. This critique has been rightly concerned with problems of ethics and economics: the myriad forms of inequity, exploitation, appropriation, exoticization, and willful or careless ignorance that beset self-proclaimed ‘intercultural’ collaborations. And little wonder: the signifi cant di erences between collaborators that lead these initiatives to be considered ‘intercultural’—di erences in geographical origin, between that perceived to be traditional and that not, between the familiar and the unfamiliar, and more often than not between the West and the non-West-are usually aligned with others in prestige or power. These in turn are sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, coterminous with racial distinctions. This asymmetry is not accidental. It is at the core of the culture idea, a technology of classifi cation and hierarchization that originated as a discursive adjunct to Western imperial rule. And although ‘culture’ has over the past century become a universally available discourse and assumed a relativistic cast, it has not completely shed its hierarchical, its racial, or its perspectival character (as the exhaustive arguments of Stuart Hall, Robert Young, and George Stocking, among others, have established). This is to say, the very di erence/ distance that constitutes the motive force of ‘intercultural performance’— culture-also names the source of its troubled ethics.