Concert Dance Inc. to Kick Off Ravinia Festival & Ruth Page Festival of Dance, 6/5-6

Concert Dance Inc. to Kick Off Ravinia Festival & Ruth Page Festival of Dance, 6/5-6

CDI/Concert Dance Inc. (CDI) returns as part of the Ruth Page Festival of Dance and marks the opening event of the 2014 Ravinia Season Thursday, June 5 and Friday, June 6 st 7:30 p.m. in Ravinia's Bennett Gordon Hall Ravinia is located at 418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park and gates to the event open at 6:30 p.m. Regularly commissioned by Ravinia to present new works, the CDI performance includes the world premiere of "Four Last Songs" choreographed by Artistic Director Venetia Stifler and uses dancers and live vocals, piano and violin accompaniment in a new compositional reduction inspired by songs written shortly before Richard Strauss' death, Reserved seating tickets are available for $10 and may be purchased at or via phone by calling 847.266.5100. No lawn seating will be available. For more information on CDI and the Ruth Page Festival of Dance, please visit

Ruth Page first began her association with Ravinia in 1926 and today, the Ruth Page Festival of Dance continues her legacy and dedication to dance, new ideas and breathtaking performances. An annual favorite with soldout performances, CDI opens the Ruth Page Festival of Dance and the 2014 Ravinia Season with an evening program consisting of four pieces uniquely choreographed by Stifler. The full program includes:

Venetia Stifler, Emmy-nominated choreographer and director, is the Executive and Artistic Director of The Ruth Page Center for the Arts and is also the Artistic Director of CDI/Concert Dance Inc., the official contemporary dance company of the Ruth Page Center, which performs choreography by Stifler and other leading contemporary artists while also exploring and re-envisioning Ruth Page's work. Since becoming The Ruth Page Center for the Arts' Executive and Artistic Director in 2000, Stifler has helped to bring into greater focus the its mission of ensuring that children and dance artists have a place to study, work and perform at the highest level of excellence

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 re-envisioned production of Ruth Page's groundbreaking 1947 "ballet carton" "Billy Sunday" came alive again in 2007 with several stage productions and in the PBS documentary produced by HMS Media. A two-year project, "Billy Sunday" not only brought this masterpiece work to new audiences, but also garnered several Emmy nominations from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Stifler served, and continues to serve, as Artistic Director for the Ruth Page Dance Series (RPDS), a festival of dance she created in honor of Ms. Page to showcase the rich variety of dance styles and artists in Chicago and which is produced in conjunction with Northeastern Illinois University. The RPDS has produced over 40 Chicago area dance companies in the last 17 years in venues throughout the Chicagoland area and in 1999 was part of the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, garnering a "Best of the Fest" by the Sunday Times of Scotland.