Debra Hickenlooper Sowell has a Ph. D in Performance Studies from New York University. She teaches at Brigham Young University and is an authority on dance among the Mormons. A formner member of the Cambridge Court Dancers, she has interests that extend to Renaissance court performances and to the romantic ballet in Italy. In 1992she received the John M. Ward Fellowship at the Harvard Theatre Collection. She has served on the board of directors of the Society of Dance History Scholars.
"Almost everyone who knows anything about American ballet history has at least heard of the Christensen Brothers, Willam, Harold and Lew....In her biography of the three brothers, Debra Hickenlooper Sowell has done a marvelous job of digging out information and, in addition to presenting facts, she makes the Christensens come alive as people....Sowell's book vividly tells the story....What Sowell has given us may inspire further researches into the Christensens. It certainly suggests both the liveliness and the richness of American ballet history." -Jack Anderson of Dance Chronicle "Meticulously documented bio of the three dancing Christensen brothers....The best aspect of Sowell's painstaking research is the even-handed way she paints the brothers' very different personalities....An entertaining read." -Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco "One of the fascinating sagas in dance has finally been addressed in The Christensen Brothers: An American Dance Epic." -Denver Post "Each of the brothers comes alive through Sowell's shrewd perceptions of his basic character.... Sowell's fascinating, most readable study of the Christensens celebrates an ironclad alliances and an indestructible loyalty among three brothers who, despite unique biases, maintained strong ties with each other and the Western communities where they flourished.." -Leland Weindrich, "Ballet Review "An important book that fills in some hidden history of America's dance....." -Glen Griffin, "Dance Magazine