Joanna Das, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dance and Director of Graduate Studies for the MFA Program in Dance, is a contributor to the book, Milestones in Dance in the USA with her chapter titled, "Challenging the Distinction between Art and Entertainment: Dance in Musical Theater." The book is a 2023 winner of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award, which honors outstanding book-length publications in dance education and recognizes authors who conduct exemplary inquiry that advances the field. In recognition of Ruth Lovell Murray (1900-1991), a pioneer in the field of dance education, the annual award honors books published in the English language during the last two calendar years. The Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award, NDEO’s inaugural book recognition honor, contributes significantly to the visibility of dance education professionals and their work, as well as the vitality of outstanding scholarship and publication excellence in dance education.
The book is edited by Elizabeth McPherson and published by Routledge.
Embracing dramatic similarities, glaring disjunctions, and striking innovations, this book explores the history and context of dance on the land we know today as the United States of America. Designed for weekly use in dance history courses, it traces dance in the USA as it broke traditional forms, crossed genres, provoked social and political change, and drove cultural exchange and collision. The authors put a particular focus on those whose voices have been silenced, unacknowledged, and/or uncredited– exploring racial prejudice and injustice, intersectional feminism, protest movements, and economic conditions, as well as demonstrating how socio-political issues and movements affect and are affected by dance. In looking at concert dance, vernacular dance, ritual dance, and the convergence of these forms, the chapters acknowledge the richness of dance in today's USA and the strong foundations on which it stands.