Ph.D., The Union Institute and University
Professor Venetia Stifler draws upon a rich background in dance, theater and music. Her early training was at the Allegro School in Chicago. As a dancer she performed the works of Dan Wagner, Bill Evans, Charles Weidman and others. As a dancer the New York Times referred to Stifler as a "stunning performer" with magnetic stage presence." In 1980, she formed Venetia Stifler & Concert Dance, Inc., (CDI) a contemporary dance company which has received consistent and positive review by the press, both nationally and internationally. Stifler has choreographed over 25 major works, including the critically-acclaimed "The Chicago Project", a collaborative work combining original music and photography that used Chicago's rich architectural landscape as a vibrant backdrop.
Her choreographic work has won her numerous awards, including the coveted Ruth Page Award, given annually by the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance. Stifler earned a Ph.D. in Dance and holds a B.A. in Theatre and Music. She has trained with dance artists Bill Evans, Jennifer Mueller, Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham and Dan Wagoner. Currently, Stifler is a tenured faculty member of the Department of Music and Dance at Northeastern Illinois University. She directs the Student Dance Ensemble and teaches technique and composition. She was the recent recipient of a "Faculty Excellence Award" for her work in choreography and production.
Dr. Stifler is also the Artistic Director of the Ruth Page Series. The official centennial birthday of Chicago cultural icon and international ballerina, Ruth Page, was 1999. Stifler was asked by the Ruth Page Foundation to plan and direct a year-long celebration which would bring increased recognition, and honor the much celebrated Page.
Stifler has performed as guest artist at colleges, universities and dance organizations nationwide. She has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Office of Fine Arts, the Ruth Page Foundation, Quaker Oats, WPWR-TV Channel 50 Foundation, Golf Construction, and Exxon-Mobil Foundation. She has served on the dance advisory panels for the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Council on Fine Arts organizations, and is a charter member and past president of the board of directors of the Chicago Dance Coalition (now the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance).
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