Ayako Kato / Art Union Humanscape

Don't "Forget the Past," Don't "Neglect the Present,"

Don't "Fear the Future"


Dance Studio

A dance and music improvisation probing the intricate art of grasping the moment – and offering a metaphorical message for us to move forward together.  


Ayako Kato, dance & Jason Roebke, double bass

Production Credits

Choreography: Ayako Kato

Music: Jason Roebke


About the Piece

The duet by Ayako Kato & Jason Roebke creates a highly metaphorical, meditative, and interactive sonic and kinetic experience through dance and music as a work of art.

About the Artist

Website: artunionhumanscape.net


Social Media: 

Facebook - Ayakokato.dance


Called “Compelling to behold” by the New York Times, Ayako Kato is an award-winning Chicago-based choreographer/dancer, originally from Yokohama, Japan. This summer, Ayako stayed at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France as a 3Arts Residency Fellow to research her next project “Ethos." In 2018, her company Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape is celebrating the 20th anniversary. Kato has been creating 17 full-evening group works, 12 duets, 29 solos, and over 125 long-form music & dance collaboration performances in 7 countries & 21 cities. This summer, it toured in Europe in collaboration with Urs Leimgruber (saxophone, Lucerne), Joachim Badenhorst (saxophone, Antwerp), Aki Takase (piano, Berlin), and Jason Roebke. In February, the company presented a four-hour music and dance work, "stück 1998/anchor 2018" in collaboration with Swiss Wandelweiser composer Manfred Werder selected for the inaugural Links Hall Co-MISSION Fellowship. For her fearless and radical experimentation, she was selected for the Players 2018: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago by Newcity Stage 2018, 3Arts Award 2016 in Dance, and a Meier Achievement Award 2016, and was named Top 5 Chicago Choreographers of 2016 by Newcity Stage. Her group work "The Incidents" was selected for the Best of Dance 2014 in Chicago Tribune.


Past presenting venues/festivals include FIM Basel, Switzerland; Mime Centrum Berlin, Germany; DOEK, Amsterdam, Holland; Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg, France; 3Klang Tage, Switzerland; Garlic and Jazz Festival, Belgium; the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT; Tabito Art Meeting Festival, Fukushima; Echigo-tsumari Art Triennial; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Chicago Jazz Festival; Pivot Arts Festival, Chicago; SpinOff Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center; Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park; Links Hall and

Constellation in Chicago; ImprovisationaLU Festival at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; Dance Center Columbia College Chicago; DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame; the University of Michigan; Loyola University; Joyce Soho, NYC; Dance Theater Workshop, NYC.


Influenced by a Japanese view of nature and the philosophy of Tao, Ayako’s ongoing practice is to embody the intangible, the beauty of being as it is, as “The Way” of nature through movement. Since 2010, she is an artist in resident at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater under Chicago Moving Company’s Dance Shelter Program. Please visit: www.artunionhumanscape.net (please check: "Choreography: Composition & Improvisation" under thoughts), Ayako Kato Dance on Vimeo (please watch her theatrical and community dance work): https://vimeo.com/user9343466


Jason Roebke is a Chicago bassist and composer. In addition to playing bass in several of Chicago’s most compelling jazz groups, he has composed music for his own Octet and small groups. His playing is intensely physical, audacious, and sparse. The Chicago Reader described his work as “a carefully orchestrated rummage through a hardware store.” He is a member of Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Mike Reed Flesh & Bone, and Tomeka Reid Quartet. Roebke studied privately with saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell as well as legendary double bass pedagogue Stuart Sankey.  In 2009, he was awarded the Fellowship in Music Composition from the Illinois Arts Council. Roebke tours widely in the US and Europe. He was the subject of an extensive interview and career overview in Point of Departure.