Ayako Kato | Hamlin Park | Dance | Chicago Reader

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When: April 30-May 1, 7:30 p.m. 2009

Local dancer-choreographer Ayako Kato has layered discipline on discipline in the course of her training: ballet, modern, tai chi, Noh, butoh. The result is spare, clean movement as exquisite as a pearl. In her solo on this all-new program, Born, even the plainest gestures—like loosely holding an upper arm with the opposite hand—are charged, ceremonial. In the Simplest Manner, Kato's duet with Asimina Chremos, is simple indeed: they mostly walk in circular patterns, their arms slowly forming a line or circle. But Chremos says the piece is difficult to perform because of its seamless, controlled flow and repetitions. At first, she says, "I often felt lost. I'd do a movement and think, 'I've been here before.'" Though Kato and Chremos never really interact or touch, their spatial relationship and occasional rhymed gestures create a deep sense of connection. Finally, Improv. Improv.—Bass, Bass, Bass is a structured improvisation by three dancers and three double bassists (including Jason Roebke, who founded Art Union Humanscape with Kato). With this piece, Kato says, she wanted to demonstrate that improv "is not . . . whatever!"

Price: $15-$20

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