Ayako Kato is a Japanese native and Chicago-based experimental dancer, choreographer, improviser, teacher, and curator. Since 1998, she is an artistic director of Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape and presented her multidisciplinary work extensively in the US, Japan and Europe. In 2016, she received a 3Arts Award in Dance, Meier Achievement Award, and was named Top 5 Chicago Choreographers by Newcity Stage. She performed her works recently at venues/festivals such
as 3Klang Tage, Switzerland; DOEK Festival, Amsterdam; Tabito Arts Meeting Festival in Fukushima, Japan; the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; SpinOff Festival, Pivot Arts Festival, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and Links Hall. Her group work The Incidents was selected for the Best of Dance 2014 by the Chicago Tribune. Also her over 50 renowned experimental music collaborators include: Urs Leimgruber (saxophon), Han Bennink (drums), Michael Moore (reeds), Yagi Michiyo (koto), Taku Sugimoto (guitar), Hamid Drake (drums), Michael Zerang (percussion), Mike Reed (percussion), Frank Rosaly (drums), Kent Kessler (double bass), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Tomeka Reid (cello), Josh Berman (cornet), Darin Gray (double bass), and Jason Roebke (double bass). Since 2010, Ayako has been an artist in residence at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater. She holds MFA in dance from the University of Michigan and Certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University, CT. Influenced by a Japanese view of nature and the philosophy of Tao, Ayako's ongoing practice is to represent the intangible, the beauty of being as it is, as
“The Way” of nature.