Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape

The goal of Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape is to express furyu, “wind flow” or “the beauty of being as it is,” which is an intuitive translation, since 1996. Furyu is an affirmation of ephemerality. Human emotion and states of being flow back and forth, like the wind, between the senses of worldly/conventional life and spiritual/mortal life. Yet by recognizing our mortal essence in our lives, we connect with our holistic being and sense the expansion and contraction of the universe.
Grasping dance as an art of being, Kato seeks the contemporary form of liberation through movements. By being aware of Ma – space, silence and stillness, Kato’s works offer contemplative environment informed by Taoism, Buddhism and Japanese traditional arts, yet often fused with western music/sounds, particularly J.S. Bach and free jazz. During the past few years, as much as butterfly effect can explain, Kato’s aim is to choreograph the energy through moving bodies and she believes that dancers should convey their movements with such sensitivity through space. Kato’s current choreographic approach is to physically extract empirical essence in human bodies through movements to express the forever imperfect and ephemeral state of being and its beauty, even including the moments of struggle.

Called “compelling to behold” by Jack Anderson of the New York Times, Ayako Kato is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, curator and teacher who hails from Yokohama, Japan. Her company Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape (AUH) has been performing in Europe, Japan and the USA since 1998. The company is going to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2013. AUH has been working on over 100 long form music and dance improvisational collaborations as well as over 40 interdisciplinary choreographic works. Most recently, Kato is interested in collaborating with video artist Edyta Stepien’s abstract, yet organic images as lights/phenomena and currently working on Let Be – experimental dance, music and video project along with Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Hamid Drake (drums) and Jason Roebke (double bass). Following  Dear BACH – Goldberg Variations (2010 world premiere, 2012 US premiere), she is working on Dear BACH – Cello Suites in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin. December 2012, she was invited to collaborate with Chicago drum ensemble Tsukasa Taiko at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. October 2012, she finished her fall concert Existencia Esencia, featuring Incidents II (2011 -, trio) inspired by ripple effect as a part of Incidents series originally inspired by butterfly effect which she has been creating since 2010, free Jazz music and contemporary dance collaboration Octet and her 50 min solo Dear BACH – Goldberg Variations (2010 -, US premiere), and the performance was highly acclaimed by the Chicago Reader. Kato is currently an artist in residence at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater as a part of the Chicago Moving Company’s Dance Shelter Program.

Find out more at www.artunionhumanscape.net

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