Brenda Dixon Gottschild author of Joan Myers Brown & The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina

Saturday, January 14, 2pm – Non-Fiction
Brenda Dixon Gottschild author of Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina ($27.00 Palgrave Macmillan)

Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown’s personal and professional histories reflect both the hardships and the accomplishments of African Americans in the artistic and social developments through the twentieth century and into the new millennium. Dixon Gottschild deftly uses Brown’s career as the fulcrum to leverage an exploration of the connection between performance, society, and race beginning with Brown’s predecessors in the 1920s and a concert dance tradition that has had no previous voice to tell its story from the inside out. Augmented by interviews with a score of dance professionals, including Billy Wilson, Gene Hill Sagan, Rennie Harris, Milton Myers, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Ronald K. Brown, Joan Myers Brown’s background and richly contoured biography are object lessons in survival a true American narrative.

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, author of Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance, Waltzing in the Dark, and The Black Dancing Body, is professor emerita of Dance Studies at Temple University and a former senior consultant and writer for Dance Magazine. Brenda Dixon Gottschild writes the definitive book on the Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown. Her personal and professional histories reflect the hardships as well as the advances of African-Americans in the artistic and social developments of the second half of the twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries. This is a compelling story about race and the arts in America. Dixon Gottschild uses Brown’s career as the fulcrum to leverage an investigation of the interface between performance, cultural formation, and race politics as evidenced by the development of a dance community in black Philadelphia and the rise and spread of its influence beyond community and regional borders to national and international distinction.

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