Ayako Kato’s What is Movement? is a dance-based inquiry into movement and stillness. As a dance/movement artist who is influenced by an Eastern and Japanese view of nature and the philosophy of Tao, Kato’s ongoing practice is to perceive humans as a part of nature and to represent human movement as the embodiment of ‘The Way’ of nature. What is Movement? proposes a perpetual question and exhibits the states of unity and eternity residing in our ephemeral being.
Tuning into principles inside and outside the body, Kato’s focus is not to create new steps or movement sequences, but to realize and represent the principles of nature and the body. Her work advocates for the human sensibilities of ‘stillness’ and ‘silence’, fostering perception of that which emerges between the body and the environment through the interplay of dynamics. The experiments of What is Movement? rediscover the value of life in motion and capture intangible transformative states of being.
During her Sponsorship at High Concept Labs, Kato will use the studio space to develop the project, host workshops, present Work-In-Progress showings, and participate in artist critiques. What is Movement? is supported in part by Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW).
Ayako Kato is a dancer, choreographer, improviser, teacher, and curator. She was born in Yokohama, Japan and is based in Chicago. She holds MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan, and a certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance of Wesleyan University. Her work stands upon the training and influence of classical ballet, modern dance, eastern movement practices, Tai Chi, Noh Theater, and Butoh.
Since 1998, Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape (AUH) produced over 50 choreographic works, 14 of which were full evening length, as well as over 120 long-form music and dance performances, in collaboration with composers, live free-jazz/improvisation musicians as well as visual artists in the US, Japan and Europe. Kato’s group work The Incidents received one of ten Best of Dance 2014 in the Chicago Tribune. In January 2016, the New England Foundation for the Arts, together with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF), selected Kato as one of 12 artists for the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of its National Dance Project (NDP).
Upcoming and recent venues/festivals include 3Klang Tage, Zug, Switzerland; the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; DUMBO Dance Festival, Brooklyn, NY; University of Notre Dame, IN; Pivot Arts Festival at Loyola University, Chicago; Tahito Art Meeting Festival, Fukushima; SpinOff Festival at Chicago Cultural Center; Links Hall/Constellation and beyond. Upcoming and recent residencies include Millersville University, PA; Chicago-Lucerne Art Residency of Chicago Sister City program supported by Swiss Benevolent Society, LinkUp with Dance at Illinois Artist in Residence supported by Links Hall & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and AIR at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater under Chicago Moving Company Dance Shelter Program.