Coming January 2012! Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, author of The Black Dancing Body, 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. [photograph by Gaston Devigne]

Joan Myers Brown & The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance.

9 Responses to “Coming January 2012! Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina”

  1. This is amazing. Thank you so much. She is one of the most amazing women in the dance world that so many give little credit. I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for this gift!

    • Thanks for this encouraging comment. The book begins with the 1920s Philadelphia black concert dance community–another well-kept secret–and the aims of a dance culture that, since then, has nurtured the development of a black ballet population.

  2. congrats, Brenda! cant wait to read it!

    • And, Brian, Rennie Harris figures LARGELY in this book, as he has in two of my previous books. My interview with him spurred me to write the chapter on The Philadelphia/Philadanco Aesthetic. He and Joan really capture what is essential about Illadelph.

  3. I cannot WAIT to get my copy!! Love “Aunt” Joan! Thank you for writing this book! Congrats!

    • Thanks so much for your support, Danni! The book can be ordered online through Palgrave Macmillan’s website and on Amazon. If you are in Philly, there will be book signing events coming up in Jan, Feb, and March. Happy New Year!

  4. Dear Brenda, watching old movies in Detroit, saw Marc Platt in “Tonight and Every Night” linked me to Ballet Russe, linked me to Raven Wilkinson, linked me to you! Wonderful to see you and become aware of your profoundly important work – historically, aesthetically – been years since I’ve seen or had the blessing of hearing your voice back in the day on the LES. Thank you for continuing to be strong and to share your vital wisdom and love for dance, Black People, artists, with the world. Much love, Maryam

    • Oh, Maryam, What a wonderful, inspiring message! It means so much to hear that the work resonates. Thanks for reaching out. If you are on Facebook, please also visit me there, esp. on my Author page (I have 2 pages). Highest Good to you!

      • Says:

        Much love and appreciation to you.

        Artist Spirit is riding the wings of High Tech:)


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