Levels and Lines

A note from Kristina

Levels & Lines is a multi-media, multi-dimensional abstract ballet, which began in 2000 as a series of long-legged dance-scapes.  Originally inspired by abstract-expressionist artist, Joan Mitchell, whose work at first seems to be purely abstract in form but to me is also layered with texture and emotional tone.

Levels & Lines came out of my curiosity about the body’s distorted movements and form that developed from having attachments to the legs.  I wanted to see if it was possible to explore scale, shape and form so that ultimately you would just see the movement and almost forget we are dancing on three-foot high stilts.

Levels & Lines also references and is inspired by neo-classical ballet and the pointe shoe. The stilts can actually represent a pointe shoe - elongating the line of the leg, the interplay of balance and weight.  I utilize the stilts as a catalytic vehicle to extend performance space, alter perspective, experiment with scale and proportion, and play with symbolism and metaphors.

Each new version of Levels & Lines like a painter’s canvas has evolved and been altered by the particular cast involved as well as the various collaborators such as the lighting designer, video creator and costumer.

What [Kristina has] accomplished is a breathtaking mix of art and entertainment that has that extra dimension one associates with circus acts - danger.
— The Columbus Dispatch

Levels & Lines: The Moving Target, a seamless sequence of solos, duets and larger ensemble pieces performed at varying tempos, is the latest incarnation in Isabelle’s Levels & Lines series featuring 7 performers dancing on the ground and using a variety of stilt heights even one-legged stilts, pointe shoes and aerial harness suspension.  The work is highly technical, abstract dance with an emotional undertone.  A video backdrop by award winning Octane Rich Media adds to the ambience and moving picture creating a large scale moving painting.

Levels and Lines: The Moving Target

Deventer Op Stelten Festival, The Netherlands • Oct. 24-26, 2013

Director/Choreographer:  Kristina Isabelle

Performers:  Jeff Fouch, Sarah Gonsiorowski, Katie Graves, Kristina Isabelle, Angela Luem, Felicia McBride, Mattew McMunn

Video:  Octane Rich Media


Music:  Susumu Yokata, Squarepusher, Barbara Morgenstern, DJ Spooky, Little People

Lights:  Julie Ballard



Additional Premieres

part 1 • University Settlement • 1998

part 5 • Columbus Dance Theatre • Stuart's Opera House • 2004

part 16 • Kenyon College • 2005

evening length work • Drake Union • King Arts Complex • Ohio Wesleyan University • 2009

Special thanks to the previous casts and collaborators of various versions of L&L for their input and artistry.

Past Performers Include:  Maggie Page Abrams, Jessica Gore, Ricky Morant, Eoin O'Brien, Zoe Rabinowitz, Gabby Stefura, and Anna Sullivan