“The creative process can be lonely,” says Ayako Kato, facilitator of “Stuck Foot, Open Hand, Running Mouth,” an evening of mostly solo works that have emerged through her three-month movement improvisation workshop, Art of Now III. “I wanted to offer an opportunity to overcome the loneliness of making experimental work.”
Founder and curator of the dance performance series Dance Union, Kato has frequently created situations for artists working in nontraditional forms to come together, perform, and respond to each other. While the workshops she has taught for several years have always culminated in informal showings, with the support of Hamlin Park and Chicago Moving Company, workshop participants now also have the opportunity to coproduce a performance—an important skill for anyone who, possessed by what Kato calls “this burning feeling of creation,” must confront the realities of limited resources. “By initiating and securing a place for them to show their work, they can focus on the task of creating,” she says.
The workshops are open to anyone, and Kato insists upon the grassroots nature of her mission, but current participants include seasoned performers from a variety of backgrounds—classical Middle Eastern dance, storytelling, performance art.
“Ayako has a strong feeling about the witness being integral to the making of the work,” notes butoh dancer and educator Sara Zalek. “Everything changes, whether it’s the very first or the hundredth time, and you need to have that back-and-forth to progress through the work.”
The program features works by Zalek and Molly Whedbee, Wilson Tanner Smith, Mitsu Salmon, Harlan Rosen, Chrissy Martin, Mark Kater, Corinne Imberski, and Rose Bouboushian. RSVP here.
“Stuck Foot, Open Hand, Running Mouth” Thu 12/14-Fri 12/15, 7:30 PM, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theatre, 3035 N. Hoyne, 312-742-7785,
artunionhumanscape.net/performances, $10 suggested donation.