I am Professor of Dance History and Art History at the University of Michigan, where I have a joint appointment in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts Residential College (Arts and Ideas Faculty) and the Department of Dance. I am an Associate of The Department of History of Art, the Center of Russian and East European Studies, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. I am one of the founders and member of the steering committee of the Center for World Performance Studies. I hold B.A., (music literature) M.A. and Ph.D (History of Art) from the University of Michigan.
My research has largely been devoted to the newly developing academic area of dance history and studies, concentrating on European and American Dance from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular expertise in British and American Theatrical Dance, in particular the work of the “mother of British ballet” Ninette de Valois, George Balanchine and ballet in America and dance in the American Film Musical. (see publications)
My latest book Dance Me a Song: Astaire, Balanchine, Kelly and the American Film Musical (Oxford University Press) will be published on June 27, 2018. This book examines the contributions of Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, and Gene Kelly and their colleagues to the American film musical placing them within the history of dance as well as film and tracing their roots in the diverse dance cultures that mingled during the jazz age in America’s “nation of immigrants” of which they were a part. (for a more extensive and detailed description click on the publisher’s website: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/dance-me-a-song-9780195382181?cc=us&lang=en&