Kristina Isabelle is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who is passionate about exploring the physicality of the body and its story-telling potential. She creates multi-media dance productions that sometimes integrate articulate dancing on stilts. She is the artistic director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and director of HighJinks Productions.
Kristina Isabelle Dance has performed nationally and internationally, most recently performing her work stilt dance work The Moving Target at Deventer Op Stelten Festival in The Netherlands. Isabelle earned her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School and an MFA in dance and choreography from The Ohio State University. She has performed with Bebe Miller, Stephen Petronio, Jordan Fuchs, Bob Eisen, and Earth Circus Productions,
She was one of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist for 2012-2013 and a Pentacle Help Desk / Chicago artist 2013. Since moving to Chicago in 2011 she has shown her work at Links Hall, the MCA, and the Ruth Page Dance Center. Her work has also been produced in New York, San Francisco, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, England, Ireland and Poland at the Bytom International Dance Festival.
Alongside her professional work, Isabelle has also spent the last decade teaching dance, composing works, and constructing dance-related events for various universities, studios, and organizations. Teaching at Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street, Visceral, OuterSpace and Aloft Circus Arts, where she continues to explore articulate dancing on stilts. She has taught for After School Matters through the Chicago Ballet.
She has been a finalist in the BalletMet choreographers project in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and was a resident choreographer for Columbus Dance Theatre for both the company and the Intensive Training Program. Most recently she created a work on The Thodos Dance Company for their New Dances Project in 2014.
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. She is currently setting a work on the students at Columbia College and St. Mary’s College.
HighJinks Productions combines 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. HighJinks has been seen at events throughout Columbus and nationally on MTV and in the Nuclear Cowboyz tour 2010 for Feld Entertainment.
Sarah Gonsiorowski is a Chicago-based dancer and arts educator. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a BFA in Dance and a BA in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. While at Iowa, Sarah toured extensively with the university's touring company, Dancers In Company, performing in works by George Balanchine, Jose Limon, Harrison McEldowney, and Carl Flink. She has also performed with the Danceworks Performance Company (Milwaukee, WI), The Moving Architects (New York, NY), Melinda Jean Myers, Erin Kilmurray, and Piel Morena Contemporary Dance. She is currently a Company Member with Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre, with whom she has performed in work by Netta Yerushalmy, Joanna Rosenthal, Ashleigh Leite, and Faye Driscoll. She recently toured to Deventer, Netherlands with Kristina Isabelle Dance Company to perform Levels and Lines at Deventer Op Stilten after joining the company in 2013.
In addition to performing, Sarah also teaches dance at Kaleidoscope Dance and Movement, dance fitness for the Chicago Athletic Clubs and is a touring artist with Urban Gateways. Her past experiences include residencies at Northwestern University, New Trier High School, Chicago High School Dance Festival, and Milwaukee Public and Bi-Lingual schools.
Katie Graves is a multidisciplinary artist working in the fields of dance, photography, and music. In May 2011, she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in dance studies from Columbia College Chicago. Since then, she has worked as a company member with Hedwig Dances and Winifred Haun & Dancers. Her freelance experience include: WBEZ Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, TEDxWindy City, One State Illinois Conference 2013, Thodos Dance Chicago's New Dances, The Inconvenience, The Fly Honeys, Philip Elson Dance, The Dance Team, Jaxon Movement Arts, Victor Alexander, and many other local choreographers in Chicago. Graves has choreographed in collaboration with Matthew McMunn for Red Tape Theatre's CFANN, Laboratory Dancers' Experiment #3.5, Danceworks Chicago’s Dance Chance series, Chicago Dance Crash's Duets for My Valentine (2012 & 2013), Blunt Object Theatre's Shakespeare, I Love You: Pericles, and Fused Muse Ensemble's Spring Show 2013. They were featured in Time Out Chicago's Dancers We Discovered \ 2011 In Review. Graves is also a freelance photographer and sings with the all-female vocal ensemble Medicine Women.
Felicia McBride began her ballet training in San Antonio, Texas. She went on to train with North Carolina Dance Theater and attended summer intensives with Houston Ballet, Ballet Austin, The Chautauqua Institute, and Tulsa Ballet. Her professional career started at 18 years old when she joined Ballet Austin 2. Ms. McBride then became a member of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater where she performed works by Jiri Kylian and Matts Ek as well as Mauro Bigonzetti and Dominic Walsh. While dancing with Dominic Walsh Dance theater she performed the lead role of 'Juliet' in Walsh's production of "Romeo and Juliet." Felicia later joined Hubbard Street 2 where she danced works by Maurya Kerr, Penny Saunders, Alejandro Cerrudo, Edgar Zendejas, Gabrielle Lamb, and Robyn Mineko Williams. Ms. McBride has also guested with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens in their production of “The Nutcracker” in 2009 and 2013. Felicia is currently freelancing in Chicago and has been fortunate enough to work with Chicago Repertory Ballet, Kristina Isabelle Dance and Hedwig Dances.
Matthew McMunn first performed for Kristina Isabelle in the 2014 resetting of Levels and Lines. He has danced with a number of companies and choreographers including Peter Carpenter Performance Project, Winifred Haun, Lucky Plush Productions, Synapse Arts Collective, and Kate Corby and Dancers. Matthew performed with dancer/choreographer Phillip Elson in The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, Harvest Dance Festival, and in Berlin Germany. He has performed with The Humans in The Other Dance Festival, Dance/USA Conference, Dance Shelter, and at The Dance Center in Chicago. He performed at the Fred Astaire Awards in New York in 2009 representing the musical feature film Were the World Mine in which Matthew also dances. Matthew contributes choreography and performs as a member of Fused Muse Ensemble; a multi-media performance company with the goal of “Uniting media to deepen engagement with human and environmental concerns.” Matthew presented his original solo and sound score, Never Was a Shade at Stage 773 in January 2014 for Lizzie Leopold's “Archipelago” dance concert. In 2014 Matthew choreographed and presented Up Makes Down with collaborator Isabelle Collazo at Links Hall. Matthew has worked in partnership with Katie Graves to choreograph and present work for Red Tape Theatre’s Chicago Fringe Artist Networking Night, Laboratory Dancers’ Experiment #3.5, DanceWorks Chicago’s Dance Chance Redux, Chicago Dance Crash's Duets for My Valentine, and Blunt Object Theatre’s Shakespeare, I Love You: Pericles. Graves and McMunn were featured in Time Out Chicago's “Dancers We Discovered—2011 In Review.” Matthew trained at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance and Joel Hall. He studied acting and dance at Columbia College Chicago where he graduated with a B.A. in Cultural Studies in 2010. Matthew also works as a mime with Michael Lee/Opus Mime Theatre Company, as a living statue/character actor, and as a movement coach for ice dancers. Matthew and Micahael Lee are currently coaching movement for Plymouth/Canton Marching Band in Michigan.
Jeffrey Fouch has performed for over twenty years while teaching young dancers in numerous programs across the Columbus, OH. An alum of both Otterbein College (BS '04) and The Ohio State University (MFA '07), Jeff has trained in many styles of dance, including stilting, which he has explored with Kristina Isabelle Dance Company since 2005. He founded Columbus Moving Company with KIDC colleagues in early 2011, as well as Heroic Urges Moving Arts, a performance project that was granted the 2012 Columbus Dances Fellowship by Columbus Dance Theater and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. In 2013, he aligned his efforts with these separate projects and in association with Short North Stage established Columbus Moving Company as the resident modern dance theater company at the Garden Theater. CMCo has been featured at the Columbus Arts Festival, Ohio Dance Festival, & Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. Jeff’s aim is for CMCo to provide a training ground and performance platform for local modern dance artists and to engage artists of other mediums in inter-disciplinary collaborations in the Short North Arts District of Columbus. Before CMCo kicked off its second full artistic season this Fall, Jeff traveled with KIDC to Deventer Op Stelten and performed to packed houses at the annual stilt festival in the Netherlands in July.
Marley Schmidt is a Michigan native and has been dancing since the age of three. In April 2012 she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Western Michigan University. In her years at Western she had the opportunity to work with guest artists such as Harrison McEldowney, Autumn Eckman, Lauren Edson, and Nelly Van Bommel. She was also part of the touring company Western Dance Project and performed in several student works. These pieces provided Marley with opportunities to perform at events such as Dance Chicago Festival, Oakland Dance Festival, Eat to the Beat, and ACDFA nationals in Washington, D.C. Her additional training includes a semester abroad studying dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, England. Since moving to Chicago in June 2012 she has had the opportunity to study on scholarship at the Lou Conte Dance Studio as well as perform in many local shows and festivals including Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Chicago Freelance Dance Festival, Danceworks Chicago's Dance Chance, In here, we are whole, Kristina Isabelle's The Floating City, and Non:Op's f(H2T) from here to there.