Kristina Isabelle Dance

Kristina Isabelle DanceKristina Isabelle Dance is a research based dance company utilizing multiple sources to develop the work so that we can engage audiences in thought provoking movement that includes highly technical dance on the ground as well as pushing the physical body with stilts of various heights, to not only extend the abstract lines of the body but further the storytelling potential. At times creating spectacle and at other times intimate moving portraits. We are eclectic and curious in the body and our themes. We are driven to make work that engages audiences viscerally, mentally and emotionally by playing with different mediums and environments. We are currently developing site specific performances bringing the audience into nature with movement, video, sound and food.
Kristina Isabelle
(Artistic Director)
Kristina Isabelle originally from Columbus, Ohio is the artistic director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company. Isabelle earned her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School and an MFA in dance and choreography from The Ohio State University. She was recently awarded one of the Lab Artists award for 2012 from the Chicago DanceMakers Forum. Her choreography has been produced in Chicago, Columbus, New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, England, Ireland and Poland at the Bytom International Dance Festival. She has been a finalist in the BalletMet choreographers project in 2004, 2006 and 2008. She is a resident choreographer for Columbus Dance Theatre for bothKristina Isabelle Dance the company and the Intensive Training Program. Most recently she has taught at Joffrey Ballet summer intensive and After School Matters program through Chicago Ballet Center.
Isabelle has also spent the last decade teaching dance, composing works, and constructing dance-related events for various universities, studios, and organizations. She has served as a guest artist and adjunct professor for The Ohio State University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenberg University, Alfred University in New York, and The College of Lake County in Illinois. In 2003-2004 she was the artistic director of the Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics. She has been a guest artist at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School her alma mater. She has written and directed numerous shows for Richland Academy of the Arts in Mansfield, King Arts Complex, and Dublin Dance Centre. She developed a home school program, KIDCO-2 a young dancer / circus artist group, which have been a highlight at numerous events from First Night Columbus to Comfest.
She also directs HighJinks Productions combining a wider variety of dance forms with traditional and contemporary circus arts to produce a unique type of entertainment that merges the best of both art forms. She specializes in stilt-dance work and fire spectacles. HighJinks Productions has been seen at events throughout the Midwest, New York and nationally on MTV and in the Nuclear Cowboyz tour 2010 for Feld Entertainment. I find my work by inhabiting an experience of extreme states to create movement meditations that evolve into a poetic form. Inquiry unfolds visually, the body finding again and again where it is today at this moment in its various states of becoming- distorted, elongated, Kristina Isabelle Danceimpassioned, powerful, sexual, political, vibrational, communal.
My work responds to and refines the shape-shifting world around us by revealing and illuminating humanity. Shape, form, politics. I match the extreme emotional states with states of extreme physical attention. By engaging with the device of stilts, I embrace the inherent interactivity of risk in my viewers and their embrace of the possibility of human potential. Stilts reach past where humans think they can go, pushing perceptions of weight, time, balance, and physical limitations. The physical impossibility of the work invites the viewer to viscerally interact, engage and ultimately expose the world within by creating complex and organic structures that are alive with kinetic possibilities.
Our most recent work, And The Spirit Moved Me, is a multi-media piece in response to legacy, nature and spirituality in the body inspired by modern dance master Sybil Shearer and further explorations in the natural world. The addition of stilts allows us to further the artistic legacy of a traditional African dance form, used as a means of connecting the natural world to the physical and spiritual world. Kristina Isabelle Dance has been engaging audiences nationally and internationally for 16 years. We are in the creation phase of Land Mass: A Triptych and currently in the process of cultivating a major performanceKristina Isabelle Dance and residency platform in the Midwest at Tryon Farm in Michigan City, Indiana.
Liz Conway
Liz Conway began dancing at a young age in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Ohio University, and received a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. At OU, Conway had the pleasure of working with accomplished artists such as Doug Nielson, Alex Springer, and Xan Burley, as well as attending the Bates Dance Festival. She has been featured as a guest artist and teacher at Cleveland-based studio The Movement Project. Conway’s time in Chicago has been marked by collaborations with talented local artists and companies such as Margi Cole, Peter Carpenter, Amanda Timm, Kelly Anderson Dance Theater, Michael O’Neil, and Cheryl Nowlin. She is currently a member of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company.
Alyssa Gregory
A native of Woodbridge VA, Alyssa A. Gregory received her BFA in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. During her time at VCU, she had the privilege of working with Tania Issac, Melanie Richards, Scott Putman, Amaranth Contemporary Dance Company, and performing in the Urban Bush Women reconstruction of Shelter. In 2010, she received the VCU Arts Kristina Isabelle DanceUndergraduate Research Grant and helped produce and performed in the evening length production of LOCKEN. Upon her relocation to Chicago, Alyssa has worked with artists and companies such as The Moving Architects, EnidSmithDance, Erin Kilmurray, and The Inconvenience. She is also currently a company member with The Leopold Group under the direction of Lizzie Leopold, and teaches dance at multiple studios throughout Chicago.
Sarah Gonsiorowski
Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Sarah is a dance artist, fitness instructor, and arts educator. She received her early training from the Milwaukee Ballet School and Joffrey Midwest Workshop. She continued her education at the University of Iowa, receiving a BFA in Dance and a BA in English (2011), with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has worked with artists and companies including Nina Watt, Harrison McEldowney, Carl Flink, Melina Jean Myers, The Moving Architects, Mario Zambrano, Danceworks Performance Company, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, Netta Yerushalmy, Niv Sheinfeld /Oren Laor, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre. Sarah is currently an ensemble member with The Seldoms and enjoying her third season with Kristina Isabelle Dance Company.
Kellyn Jackson
Kellyn’s list of accomplishments include graduating with degrees in dance and psychology, co-founding a dance company, hanging with cows in India, teaching people how to move, breath, and smile as a certified Yoga instructor, and extracting three year olds’ deepest potential through movement. She’sKristina Isabelle Dance excited to be grooving with this bunch of rad artists in her second season with KIDCo.
Angela Luem
Angela was born in St. Louis, and trained at Southern Methodist University. She has danced in New York, Mexico City, and Chicago with numerous artists including Mark Dendy, Dance Anonymous, Tania Perez-Salas Co. De Danza, Yuxtadanza, The Moving Architects, MegLouise, and Kristina Isabelle Dance Company. She has taught master classes in dance in Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Israel, and throughout the US. She lives with her partner in Ravenswood, bartends at The Bedford, teaches PilatesMat at LA Fitness, and teaches dance to teenagers throughout the city and suburbs. Angela loves working with Kristina and each of the dancers with which she gets to move.
Andy Slavin
Andy Slavin, originally from the central coast of California, is a movement artist and accredited California Arts Scholar. They received their BFA in Dancemaking from Columbia College Chicago in Spring 2016. They have presented choreographic and improvisational work at The Dance Center, Manifest Arts Festival, Salonathon, OuterSpace, and Rebirth Gallery. Andy has worked with choreographers Emma Draves, Lisa Gonzales, Atalee Judy, Meida McNeal, Doron Raz, Kelsa Robinson, and others, and models for Sky Cubacub of Rebirth Garments. Andy currently dances for Kristina Isabelle Dance Company in Chicago, IL.
Kristina Isabelle DanceApril Torneby
April Torneby, originally from Seattle, WA, is a dancer, choreographer, and movement educator, and received her BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts. Since relocating to Chicago in the summer of 2012, April has had the opportunity to perform and present work in Dance Chicago, THAW: Links Hall Annual Benefit, Inaside’s Choreographer Sponsorship Event, Core Project’s Going Dutch, Elgin Ties Dance Festival, and Chicago Home Theater. April Turnery joined Kristina Isabelle Dance Company Summer, 2015. In addition to exploring the world of stilt dancing with Kristina, April teaches dance and fitness class to all ages in the greater Chicago area.

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