Mies van der Rohe Society at IIT welcomes Dr. Stifler and CDI 

(Chicago, IL, Dec 17,  2021)  The Mies van der Rohe Society at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is proud to welcome Dr. Stifler, an Emmy nominated choreographer with her company Concert Dance as their Artist in Residence. Dr. Cynthia Vranas Olsen, Director of the Mies Society stated, “Mies’ work is a powerful statement of how the arts can enrich architectural expression.” The goal of this residency is to explore the powerful and inter-related effects that exist between architecture and dance. They will combine theories and techniques from neuroscience, virtual reality, and contemporary dance and other arts to illustrate the architectural vision and design concepts established by Mies van der Rohe and embodied in his buildings on the IIT campus. Mies van der Rohe is an iconic figure who aimed to forge truly ‘modern’ architecture for the world.

When Cynthia suggested this collaboration and residency, it seemed a perfect fit for Venetia and her company. Venetia has a body of work that explores the iconic architecture of Chicago, including the work of Meis van der Rohe. It is highlighted in a multimedia dance work titled “The Chicago Project” that she created with her collaborator, Frank Vodvarka. It premiered in 1986 and has been performed in venues from the Ravinia Festival and Chicago Cultural Center, to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. The piece has been redesigned several times since its premier and was awarded a Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. When asked for a statement Venetia said, ” I feel like Cynthia and I share a need to discover the divine in our creative work, and to quote Meis, ‘God is in the details.’” This residency provides a platform for Cynthia and Dr. Stifler to combine their work and find those details.

The Mies van der Rohe Society is a membership organization devoted to strengthening architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s legacy—including his philosophies and his buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus—and promoting fresh interpretations of his design principals in Chicago and beyond.

Venetia Stifler & Concert Dance, Inc (CDI) is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. The company’s work has been reviewed by the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out, The Sun Times, Dance Magazine, and the Scotsman among others. The company has for seventeen years been featured as part of the Ravinia Festival, an international music festival held in Highland Park, Illinois. Other venues include Orchestra Hall, The Cultural Center of Chicago, Columbia College, The Ruth Page Theater, and The Poetry Center. The company has also participated in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and an  International Exchange with China (Nanjing Normal University) funded by the Mac Arthur Foundation, the Driehaus Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. Dr. Stifler and the company were nominated for an Emmy for her restaging of Ruth Page’s “Billy Sunday.

“Artistic Director Venetia Stifler and her CDI - Concert Dance Inc. are marking 30 years on the dance scene – an impressive achievement, all the more so in an art famous for its casualties.”
— Timeout Chicago
“Lyrical beautifully designed work.”
— The Chicago Magazine
“Every aspect of the choreography is truly satisfying.”
— The Herald- Scotland
“Artistic Director Venetia Stifler continues to push the creative button of CDI.”
— The Chicago Tribune
“A revival of Stifler’s “El Salon Mexico”was a highlight of the night.”
— The Chicago Tribune
“(Venetia Stifler) ...a highly skilled choreographer...” ” authentic choreographic talent...”
— Ann Barzel (Dance Magazine & Stagebill)
“...inspired by the magnetic stage presence of its interpreter (Venetia Stifler)” ”...frames the space with simplest weighted gestures... ”
— Jennifer Dunning (The New York Times)
“A witty interaction between art forms”
— The Times (Scotland)
“ of the best works I’ve ever seen by a Chicago choreographer”
— Gale Kappe (Chicago Magazine)
“This music is to important to not be heard again and again (Aftermath, Ned Rorem) ”...the dancers made every fluid movement resonate with stark emotion.”
— John von Rhein (Chicago Tribune)
“The music, movement and visuals blend together to form a stunning artistic creation. ”
— Robert Sturm (Windy City Times)
“(Venetia Stifler) ...she frames the space about her with the simplest weighted gestures of her livid arms. It is Isadora Duncan without the skips and falls.”
— Jennifer Dunning (The New York Times)