And the Spirit Moved Me

40 3Arts supporters
$5,445 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on September 21, 2015
    • 109% contributed

Legacy, nature, spirituality, and artistic research combine in this multi-tiered project to develop a new evening-length dance work entitled And the Spirit Moved Me. Inspired by modern dance master, Sybil Shearer (1912-2005) and my personal explorations of nature and spirituality in the body, this project will result in a new dance work as well as an appreciation of an important figure in dance history. I originally visited Sybil’s former studio in 2010 and instantly felt a desire to dance and to perform on the site. After reading her autobiographies and watching some footage of her dance, I was inspired to develop this project with the support of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation. Since then, I have spent the past year researching Shearer and beginning to conceptualize a dance project that will include reconstructions of her work and newly-developed material drawing on her legacy. With your support, I will be able to fully develop and present this major project that will have an advance showing in October 2015 and a complete production in spring 2016.

About This Project

And the Spirit Moved Me incorporates a new theory of archiving through the body as a means of understanding and connecting the past with the future. I am excited to dive into the repertory and history of modern dance master Sybil Shearer, who was a rather reclusive artist yet one who had great impact on those who saw her perform. Through this project, I will begin to explore Shearer’s choreography, style and voice, with the intention of bringing her process into the folds of my own body’s physical memory and shared interest in the ideas of nature and spirituality. I have been dancing my whole life and there are so many choreographers and teachers who reside in my movement language. I am curious if I can archive Shearer's unique movement and rhythms to create a new vocabulary and instinctual responses in my own body.

There is momentum behind this project, as evidenced by my own commitment, the alliance with the Morrison-Shearer Foundation, and a year’s worth of research completed to date. I also recently completed an intensive workshop exploring the elemental states (air, fire, water, earth) in the body as well as dancing with videos of Shearer to learn her phrasing and vocabulary. 

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation is currently in the process of archiving all of the photographs and films taken of Shearer by her longtime collaborator Helen Balfour Morrison, who was a recognized portrait photographer and lighting designer. With the help of the Foundation, I will have access to all of this material as well as Shearer's studio space in Northbrook Illinois for rehearsal. Many of her costumes, books, records, and more are still in the studio, thus allowing me to have a total immersive experience in the world of this iconic figure.

Already, my research has immersed me in an exciting artistic movement that also includes renowned landscape architect, Jen Jensen, along with Shearer’s peers in the modern dance world such as Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Agnes DeMille, to name a few, and even her relationship with Merce Cunningham.

In October, I will present an evening of reconstructions of Shearer's work along with a panel discussion in collaboration with the Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Chicago Dance History Project, and the Newberry Library. 

Your support will allow me to cover several critical expenses, which include video documentation, photography, costumes, and performer fees. Many of these dances have never been reconstructed before. I am grateful for the opportunity that this successful campaign will give me to share, educate, and inspire audiences on the art and genius of Sybil Shearer.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Special thank you card and mention on social media ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    A performance photo by William Frederking from "And the Spirit Moved Me" ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    An exclusive invitation to attend an open rehearsal ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    Two tickets to the reconstruction concert ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Two tickets to the reconstruction concert, and Two tickets to the final "And the Spirit Moved Me" ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $750
    All of the above plus a dinner with the dancers prepared by Geoffrey Frankel ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Kristina Isabelle

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 articulated dancing on stilts. She is the artistic director of …

View Kristina Isabelle's profile
  • Update 1: Premiere of "And the Spirit Moved Me"
    Posted on May 31, 2016



    It is finally here and thanks to your 3Arts/3AP support, Kristina Isabelle Dance is ready to premiere And The Spirit Moved Me.
    It has been a great year of making, and the collaborators are ready to share this moving dance work. We appreciate your support and hope you can make the show coming up this weekend June 4-5. All the details are below. If you have any questions or need any more information feel free to reach
    out to me at
    You can view a video trailer at this link:



    Thanks again!
    Pivot Arts Festival
    Kristina Isabelle Dance
    And The Spirit Moved Me
    June 4-5, 2016
    Loyola University's Mundedelein Center for Fine and Performing Arts
    Newhart Theater, 1020 W. Sheridan Rd.
    Kristina Isabelle Dance will premiere And The Spirit Moved Me, an evening length multi-media dance work. And The Spirit Moved Me takes us on a provocative journey through the body landscape to discover and reveal the natural and spiritual world within. Originally inspired by modern dance master Sybil Shearer and her quest for spirituality through movement, Isabelle continues the search by moving through nature to expand our physical form. This work will feature Isabelle’s signature stilt dance as well as moving video and sonic sound score -- a surreal exhibition of the layers of our search for physical enlightenment.
    Choreography /Direction: Kristina Isabelle
    Film: Octane Rich Media
    Costumes: Vin Reed
    Sound Design: Stephen Ptacek
    Set: Grant Sabin
    Performers: Liz Conway, Sarah Gonsiorowski, Alyssa Gregory, Kellyn
    Jackson, Kristina Isabelle, Angela Luem, Andy Slavin, April Torneby


    Image by William Frederking.

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Angela Luem

    • Jackie Kazarian

    • Claudia Hart

    • Nik Rokop

    • Bob Eisen

    • Rachel Mikva

    • Glennon Schaffner

    • Mary Jo Wenckus

    • Kellyn Jackson

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Katie Rebich

    • Jeff Fouch

    • Ginger Farley

    • Betty Hurder

    • Deborah Clark

    • Nora Sharp

    • William Frederking

    • Jordan Fuchs Lisa Vining

    • Molly Balla

    • Richard Chandler

    • Hope Goldman

    • Roberta Shaw

    • Sue Whitney

    • Courtney Prokopas

    • Scott Silberstein

    • Brook Umbrell

    • Ed Garcia

    • John Jay

    • Maya Tatineni

    • James Forni

    • Christine Lebowitz

    • Dana Dugan

    • Isabelle Collazo

    • erin kilmurray

    • SueB Gahn

    • Chih-Hsien Lin

    • Scott Lundius

    • Marshall Blankenship

    • Monica Perelmuter

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council