Stillness is one of the most powerful tools in a skilled choreographer’s hands. I was reminded of this at a rehearsal of Ayako Kato’s one-person “blue fish,” which plays April 21 and 22—Earth Day—on the stage of the Pritzker Pavillion and sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Of course, there is no such thing as stillness in nature or humans; there is the heartbeat, the breath, and Kato is able to evoke whole landscapes in single exhalation. In the course of the hourlong show, which is inspired by visits to Fukushima, Hanford Site in Washington, the Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado and other sites of nuclear damage, Kato is both fisherman and fish; rigid, masculine, yang, then diving below the surface to become fluid, feminine, yin. She speaks a few sparse phrases to gently evoke the imagination, much in the way she activates a handful of objects on stage with a look or a touch: “Boys, be ambitious. What about the girls?” “Why do humans create something harmful?” “I am a big blue fish. My movement may mean nothing. But it may mean something.”
The audience will sit in a semicircle on the glass-enclosed stage of the Pritzker, facing out over the park at sunset. A workshop to make the illuminated paper lanterns that will strew the stage of the Pavilion, transforming it into the calm surface of a lake, take place both evenings before the show at 5:30pm. Space is limited, workshops and performances, like swims in the ocean and reflective walks in the woods, are free. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph. Friday and Saturday, April 21 & 22 at 7pm. Lantern workshop on the second floor of the Pavilion at 5:30; RSVP for the workshop at [email protected] Free.