Dances With Words & Music - 2019
This striking piece brings to life poetry from Langston Hughes, Dorthy Parker, e.e Cummings, and Federico Garcia Lorca through the delicate weaving of dance, words, and music.
The Chicago Project: Future Present - 2017
“The Chicago Project: Future Present” was originally created by Stifler in 1985, but was revisited with new eyes and a modern mindset. This piece focuses on the human bond to the design, feel, and materials that define Chicago architecture.
Creating Shakespeare - 2016
“Creating Shakespeare” is a reimagined work of Ruth Page that journeys into the inner life and nature of three of Shakespeare’s influential heroines. Each of the heroines, Juliet, Katherine, and Lady Macbeth, dictated their stories and were known for either their romance, strength, or madness as they transcended beyond Shakespeare’s own work.
In honor of of the revolutionary jazz figure, who would have turned one-hundred, Stifler celebrates his work in this captivating performance. Not only does the piece feature Sinatra’s own music but also sound bytes from his interviews.
This enchanting piece was an exploration of what it means to be at the threshold, however that applies. While it does take inspiration from the Mexican-American border it relays to all aspects of life and the feeling of beginning something new.
Meetings Along the Edge - 2009
“Meetings Along the Edge” surmises the human interaction as ideas and cultures come face to face. Do we address our differences or do we avoid them, and what are the consequences of these decisions?
The International Dance Learning Project - 2009
In May of 2009 the CDI traveled halfway across the world to China where they taught and performed at Nanjing Normal University. The immersion into an unknown culture forever impacted the company as they continue to shape the world of dance. Luckily, in order to capture it all they posted their travels and experiences on the following blog. If you would like to learn more and see what the dancers had to say please check it out.
Based on Ruth Page's 1948 ballet, Venetia Stifler and Concert Dance Inc. bring you an Emmy Award nominated version of this classic masterpiece. Starring Harrison McEldowney and directed by Venetia Stifler Produced by HMS Media and Ruth Page Foundation 2007 Filmed at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium.
From its initial impression “German Songs” seems to be the tense relationship between a couple; however, another meaning lies within Stifler’s own past. As a chairman of the Department of Music and Dance Program she found issues within the bureaucracy and used this dance as a way to express her frustrations. The performance not only speaks to Stifler’s history but also the evolution of a relationship.
“Chaos” is unlike the many other dances CDI has performed as it started with the hope of creating something new through improvisation. After a bit of time and some imagination the dance found its way to be an invigorating performance that took a humorous look at the improvisational nature of jazz and the carnivorous qualities of love.
A quartet of sultry female dancers move about the stage first seducing and then destroying those who cross their path. Notable for its stunning costume art pieces that symbolize the transformation of these four women into sculptures of the angry ice maidens that they become.
A stirring dance that conveys the story of the sometimes violent Irish immigrant group known as the Molly McGuires who fought for labor reforms in 19th century America. The singing of Kathy Cowen, renowned singer of traditional Irish ballads, accompanies the piece and lends a powerful infusion of authenticity. Seven dancers evoke the men and women caught up in this movement and portray the day its leaders were hanged.
Commissioned by the Ravinia Festival to celebrate the 100th birthday of Anton Dvorak and his experience in America. Set to Dvorak’s “Humoresque” and “Slavonic Dances” this work is a dance that spoofs stock images of classical dance. This work includes six dancers dressed in stylizes tutus and tights who create a playful satire of pretensions to high art.
Aftermath: The Dance - 2003
A piece of music titled “Aftermath” was first composed by Ned Rorem to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. The Ravinia Festival commissioned CDI to make an accompanying dance. The Chicago Tribune commented that the dancers “evoked every emotion present in the music.” The music is a song cycle for piano and a baritone who sings poetry that speaks to the futility of violence. The dancers, looking as though they just climbed out of the ruble of destruction, bring to life the emotion of the piece.