Ayako Kato is an award winning Chicago-based dancer, choreographer, improviser, teacher, and curator, originally from Yokohama, Japan. Since 1998, she has been an artistic director of Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape (AUH) and has presented and performed her works extensively in the United States, Japan, and Europe. Most recently, she received 2016 3Arts Award in Dance, a 2016 Meier Achievement Award, and was named Top 5 Chicago Choreographers of 2016 by Newcity Stage. She is also a 2005 LinkUP Resident Artist, 2007 CDF Lab Artist Award Winner, 2016 RDDI Artist, and 2017 Links Hall Co-MISSION Fellow. 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, or furyu, literally “wind flow” in Japanese. By following “The Way” of nature through movement, like wind swirling through the body, dance is the fundamental force that allows her to think, sense, communicate, and move.