Contributions of Martha Hill to American Dance and Dance Education, 1900-1995

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This book looks at the life of Martha Hill, the prominent educator and founding director of three pivotal degree-granting college dance programs or departments and two summer festivals. The first-hand narratives provide in-depth perspectives on Hill’s life and legacy. This book contains 28 black and white photographs.


“Not only is Martha’s life thoroughly explored in this work, but McPherson also provides an intriguing overview of dance in twentieth-century American higher education that describes the context within which Martha Hill worked.” – Joseph W. Polisi, DMA, President, The Juilliard School

“[The author] has been able to collect a large number of references from the archives, fresh recollections, letters, and interviews that help the reader feel the power of Hill’s leadership.” – Myron Howard Nadel, Professor and Head, Dance Program, the University of Texas at El Paso

“[McPherson] succeeds in painting a portrait of a human being, and not a lifeless icon. We get to know Hill as a person with strengths and weaknesses, who never loses sight of her vision.” – Susan R. Koff, Ed.D., Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Table of Contents

1 An Overview of the History of Dance in Higher Education in the United States
2 Hill’s Youth and Early Career: Growing Up in the Bible Belt (1900-30)
3 Establishing a Dance Program in the School of Education at New York University (1930-51)
4 Establishing a Place for Dance in a Liberal Arts Setting at Bennington College (1932-51)
5 Moving Dance into Mainstream American Thought at The Bennington School of the Dance and The Connecticut College School of the Dance/American Dance Festival (1934-52)
6 Creating and Nurturing a Conservatory Program in Dance at Juilliard (1951-95)
7 Through the Eyes of Hill’s Students
8 Hill’s Legacy

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