Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance
Brenda Dixon Gottschild
Cover of Brenda Dixon Gottschild's Joan Myers Brown & The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance.
Gottschild, a performer turned author, scholar, and self-described "cultural worker," completed research and writing for her book, Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of Performance and Race, which was published by U.K. publisher Palgrave Macmillan in January 2012. Brown, who founded the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960, as well as the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) in 1970, grew up in Southwest Philadelphia, where she hoped to become a professional ballerina despite a ballet establishment that would not embrace African-Americans. Gottschild is a 2009 Leeway Foundation Transformation Award winner and the author of works such as Waltzing in the Dark (St. Martin's Press, 2000) and The Black Dancing Body (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). As it tells the story of Joan Myers Brown, her new book also tells the previously unwritten 20th-century dance history of black Philadelphia, one that has great potential to reach beyond the region to serve as a national model for other untold cultural stories, just beginning to emerge. "It may be the first time for a black dance community to have a book written about it from the inside out, reaching past the community to the larger world." Palgrave Macmillan partnered with Dance/USA Philadelphia and other dance agencies to market the book to a range of institutions and organizations.