InMemorium- continued frompage 11.
Miss Penny is remembered for not only her creative talent, but her love for her family and friends and her unrelenting, strong faith. For almost two years, she battled cancerwith a smile and the fierce spirit of a trooper. She is survived by husband,Nelson; daughter,Rebecca; son, Robbie; and two grandchildren,Amber andRobi.
to leave amessage in the guestbook for the family. You can alsomake a donation in her name to the cancer centerwhere shewas treated.Re
becca said itwell in one of her posts: “therewas only one set of footprints in the sand, asGod carriedMominHis arms.But, I amassured thatHe has once again set her down on her feet, and nowshe's free to dance!”
Gina Carrico is a long timemember of theDallas dance community and con- tributingwriter toDanceNorth Texas. She lives in Planowith her husband of 30 years and son,Bruce. Contact her at email@example.com
DeniseAnais Levy Lattes Brown February 25, 1925 -April 4, 2011
As a child,Denise’s parents enrolled her in ballet at the suggestion of her physician to build upweak legmuscles. She fell in lovewith ballet and continued studying and performedwith the junior company of the world famousBalletRusse. Then,WorldWar II forced her in a different direction.
eniseBrown passed away at the age of 86, surrounded by her family after a long and courageous battlewith Parkinson’s dis- ease.De
nisewas born in Paris, France to Sadi andRenee Levy
In 1939, her father, being part of the FrenchResistance duringWorldWar II,was arrested by theNazis.Hewas taken toAuschwitz. Itwas the last timeDenise sawhim. She took up the cause and joined theResistance aswell. In later years, she proudly displayed theCroix de Lorraine medal shewas awarded in 1945 by theChief of the FrenchResistance for her efforts.De
nise’s life storywas chronicled in the book TheyAlso Servedwritten by Jeanie Sutton Lambright.
These events taught her to hide as ameans of survival. Itwas a lesson thatwould repeat later in lifewhen itwas her heritage, and not her physical self, that needed to be kept hidden.
Later,Brownworked as a translator toAmericanswhere shemetGI JamesEugeneBrown fromEmhouse, Texas. The couplemarried in January of 1946 and, soon after, James brought hiswar bride home to Emhouse, Texas. Itwas during thismovewhenGene asked thatDenise promise shewould not expose her Jewish heritage to anyone in her newhome.Within a year, theymoved toDallas,where James, a gradu- ate of SMU,was the FinanceDirector forUniversity Park.
Denise started teaching ballet to the neighborhood children in their home.Her first groupwas five small ballerinas-to-be, and practices were held in her bedroom. In 1950, she rented space on Lovers Lane and started theDeniseBrown School ofBallet.
Former student, JenniferMabus says “Mymother putme intoDenise Brown’s ballet class as a 4 year old, hoping to breakmy shyness; instead I found a life calling andmy first artisticmentor.Her studio behind her housewas a placewhere I learned howto communicate withmy body and the discipline that requires. Iwould go tomy class with great excitement, and a little bit of fear! I remember distinctly her telling us shewould call the police on us for stealingwatermelons and putting themin the front of our leotards, ifwe didn’t hold our stomachs in! I nowappreciate her great humor, as shewould have us yell, “I love ballet, I love stretching” aswe held the splits for and impossibly long time.
But,most of all, I truly believeDeniseBrown and her family shapedmy artistic vision at a very early age. Their recitalswere creative endeavors, with inventive choreography and ideas, and all of the parents, including mymom,wouldmake our beautiful costumes. I distinctly remember one recital based on great artworks. Iwas a stained glasswindowthat year, and itwas a great artistic education! I also remember a beautiful piece she created aboutwar that inspiredme as a fourth grader to be more passionate andwant to dance about important subjects. It is probably the reason I continued to pursue a career inmodern dance. The other day, I foundmyself tellingmy students to shout “I love bal- let!”while holding their splits!
Denisewas one of the founders ofDallasCivicBallet in 1957, serving as companymanager.Her choreographywas performed in the Southwest RegionalBallet Festival and theDallasDanceCouncil awardedDenise theMaryMcLarryBywatersAward for her lifetime contributions to dance inNorth Texas.
Denise brought her love of ballet to thousands of students throughout her sixty years of teaching.Early students brought their children and
page 12 may 2011 www.thedancecouncil.org
DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 14 • no. 2
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