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image by Lois Greenfield

Image by Lois Greenfield

The Company

Announcing NEW PMG Artist: The Philadelphia Dance Company, better known as simply PHILADANCO! Across the nation and around the world, PHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity, and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance. Founded by Joan Myers Brown in 1970, PHILADANCO has a legacy of breaking barriers and building bridges across cultural divides. They consistently perform for audiences representing an amalgamation of people from diverse communities. PHILADANCO is recognized for its artistic integrity, superbly trained dancers and electrifying performances. With a beloved repertory spanning more than 40 years, there is something for every audience! Repertory includes work by Ulysses Dove, Gene Hill Sagan, Rennie Harris, JaWole Willa Jo Zollar, and many more. PHILADANCO’s commitment to empowering youth also creates a myriad of possibilities for residency activities with schools and communities.

Artistic Director

Joan Myers Brown is the founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts.  She serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991.  She is also founder of the International Conference of Black Dance Companies in 1988.  She is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts, which bestowed upon her an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, and is a member of the dance faculty at Howard University in Washington, DC. She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Ursinus College. Listed in Who’s Who in America and described as an “innovator and communicator,” Ms. Brown has made significant contributions to the national and international arts communities. She remains a tireless advocate and spokesperson and is a model of tenacity, hope and discipline. Ms. Brown is the proud mother of three daughters Marlisa, Dannielle and Megan, and grandmother of six. It must be emphasized that Joan Myers Brown’s efforts for dance excellence are only part of her contribution to society and Philadelphia in particular. She speaks out, talks back and shows up. She was co-chair of Dance/USA Philadelphia.  Most recently she received the prestigious Philadelphia Award and November 7, 2010 was declared Joan Myers Brown Living Legacy Day.  Her memoirs were documented in a recent publication “Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina”, by author Brenda Dixon Gottschild and she has received awards from the Philadelphia Tribune and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.  Most recently Brown was designated in 2013 as one of the Top 10 Philadelphians as well as honored as a Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania and Outstanding Alumni of West Philadelphia High School. She also received Dance USA’s National Honor award and in July 2013 Joan Myers Brown received the prestigious National Medal of Arts Award presented by President Barak Obama.


The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) is a nonprofit organization that presents the highest quality of professional dance performance and improves the skills of emerging and professional dancers and choreographers in a nurturing environment, while increasing the appreciation of dance among its many communities. Across the nation and around the world, PHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance.

Technical Rider

PHILADANCO Technical Rider