I have been dancing since I could walk and I have been making dances since I was in the third grade.  My life has revolved around my dance training and creative endeavors.  I have constantly craved new movement experiences and opportunities to develop my skills to enhance the stories that are held within my body.

In the beginning, it was the pure joy of moving and being able to express my emotions and dramatic impulses.  With further training and awareness, dance became so much more.  Dance is a place for investigation, experimentation, struggle, desire and the opportunity to ask questions of my body and other bodies.  It is an ontological journey.

Dance is a way to communicate and to explore the potency of the body and the state of being fully present — body, mind and spirit.  I see the world in motion and my body is constantly moving.  I try to tap into the “storyness” held within the body to create moving portraits that resonate on a deeper level.

My goal is to entertain the audience, as well as to connect with them viscerally. I believe in theater’s potential to exercise our perceptions, perhaps giving us the skills to also experience life outside the theater more fully.

With all of that said, here is a bit more of my dance education and history.  I hold a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School (1991) and an MFA in choreography from The Ohio State University (1998).  I have danced with Stephen Petronio, Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, Earth Circus Productions and Grimaldi Circus to name a few, and I am currently performing with Jordan Fuchs as well as directing my own dance company.

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I have been producing my own work and have been presented by numerous organizations. Venues range from the King Arts Complex, McConnell Arts Center, Columbus Museum of Art, The Fischer Theatre, Stuart’s Opera House, Joyce Soho, Movement Research, 848 Performance Space, The Merce Cunningham Studio, University Settlement, The Bytom International Dance Festival, Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival, and Harvest Contemporary Chicago Dance Festival, to name a few.

I have been selected as a finalist in the Columbus Choreographer’s fellowship for the last five years.  I have received project support grants from both the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.  I have been a guest artist in residency at Columbus Dance Theatre for the last four years, as well as a guest artist at numerous universities including The Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan, Kenyon College, Wittenberg University, Bowling Green State University and The College of Lake County.  Three of my student works were selected for the ACDFA festival.

My work as a dancer and choreographer has evolved over time.  My training at Juilliard and subsequent dancing with Stephen Petronio gave me a ferocious desire to be a highly technical dancer and ultra specific with space and design and in my dancing body.  My work in San Francisco with Earth Circus brought in the height with stilts and other circus skills.  Graduate school in Columbus, Ohio, allowed me the time to really focus on my own work and I started to combine the two skill sets — articulate dancing with attachments on the arms and legs. I subsequently went on an eight-year period of pushing the physical body and extending the energy and lines of the body.

At the same time, I created HighJinks Productions, an entertainment company that combined my love and skills in the circus arts with dance to create lively performances for corporate events, private parties, parades and nightclub settings.  This work includes stilt-dance (which is one of my specialties), fire acts, aerial work, juggling and much more.  This work allowed me to support my more artistic work as the director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company.

My evolution as a choreographer and performer expands into all areas of dance; I don’t limit myself to contemporary dance, but branch out into stilt work, aerial work and ballet. Rather than using stilting as a gimmick, I use it as a catalyst to extend performance space, alter perspective, experiment with scale and proportion, and play with symbolism and metaphors. My stilt works are an effort to create a new movement form. I allow my creative work to unfold organically, bringing in all aspects of my life to inspire my new visions.

My next big creative shift came while working with Bebe Miller on “Necessary Beauty.”  We took more than three years to develop the piece.  Improvisation was a huge part of the process and a big part of the final performance.  I became extremely curious about the structure and openness of where one needs to be to allow movement to flow and develop spontaneously, but with very focused intentions.  My work with Jordan Fuchs is completely improvisational.  This led me to entertain trying to figure out how to work this into my own work and allow me to open up the process and the performance experience.

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I am now ready to engage new performers and develop a new process to create a multi-dimensional and multi-media dance theatre piece. The Floating City is a departure because I am trying to find the foundations of creating large-scale dance theatre works that incorporate environment, text and video.  It has been my trajectory and now it is time to really push to understand what is necessary to make it come to fruition.

My plans for tomorrow and the next five years are to find ways to continue to grow as a dance artist, to share my craft through workshops and performances and finally to be in the studio as much as possible with a group of dancers developing innovative and thought provoking contemporary dance that finds an audience in my new home, Chicago.

I have a long track record for producing shows and events and I have no doubt there will be obstacles in this new undertaking however I am ready for the task and I look forward to diving into this transition with full force, with a curious mind and a determined attitude to thrive as a dance maker.