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International Association of Black in Dance Honors Philadelphia’s Brenda Dixon Gottschild

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The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), the international service organization for dancers of color announced its 2013 IABD Honors Celebration Awardees. Amongst the honorees was Philadelphia’s Brenda Dixon-Gottschild. The awards will be given on Saturday, January 26, 2013 during the IABD International Performance Showcase, which is part of the 25th  Annual IABD Conference being held in Washington, DC, January 24 – 27, 2013.

“It is with great honor and pleasure that we pay tribute to these individuals who through their professional accomplishments, stewardship, and passion have made outstanding contributions to the Black dance community. Their contributions to the art form are un-measurable and they have touched the lives of so many while advancing the field of dance,” said IABD Chair, Denise Saunders Thompson.

Presented for the first time by the IABD Board of Directors, the IABD Award recipients include: Dance School Director Award, Charles L. Augins; Founders Award, Camille A. Brown; Scholar Award, Brenda Dixon-Gottschild; Legendary Choreographers Award, Louis Johnson; and International Acclaim Award, Dianne McIntyre. The Honors are awarded to those individuals whose professional presence and commitment to Black Dance are exemplified through extraordinary qualities in Artistic, Education, Leadership, and Developing Artists in the dance field. The Honorees  through creativity, force of vision, and professional work have significantly impacted the Black dance community and the Board of Directors wishes to acknowledge their service.

 
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Brenda Dixon Gottschild is the author of Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts; Waltzing in the Dark: African American Vaudeville and Race Politics in the Swing Era—winner of the 2001 Congress on Research in Dance Award for Outstanding Scholarly Dance Publication); and The Black Dancing Body – A Geography from Coon to Cool—winner of the 2004 de la Torre Bueno prize for scholarly excellence in dance publication). Her most recent book, titled Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina-A Biohistory of Performance and Race, was published in January 2012. She is Professor Emerita of dance studies at Temple University and a former consultant and writer for Dance Magazine, and she performs movement theater works with her husband, choreographer Hellmut Gottschild.

- Steven Weisz

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While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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