Penelope Reed Doob

The National Ballet of Canada mourns the death of Penelope Reed Doob, longtime company contributor and supporter.

Dr. Reed Doob was a Professor Emerita of Dance, English and Women’s Studies at York University. The recipient of Woodrow Wilson, Kent and Guggenheim Fellowships, her teaching and research included medieval and Renaissance studies, dance history and criticism, sexual stereotypes in opera, literature and dance, and non-fiction writing.

She was the co-author of Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 1994 autobiography Movement Never Lies and wrote three books: Nebuchadnezzar’s Children: Conventions of Madness in Medieval Literature (Yale University Press), The Idea of the Labyrinth from the Classical Period through the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press) and, with C. Morse and M. Woods, The Uses of Manuscripts in Literary Studies (Western Michigan University Press).

Professor Reed Doob’s dance reviews and feature articles appeared regularly in publications such as The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Dance Magazine, Ballet News, Performing Arts in Canada and Ballet International. She developed more than 20 documentaries for the CBC Radio program The Dance, and has written extensive historical programme notes for The National Ballet of Canada and the Kirov Ballet’s North American tour.

Dr. Reed Doob was active as a facilitator for strategic planning in several arts and academic organizations in Canada and the U.S.A. During a three-year stint in the early 1990s as founding president of Reed MacFadden, a medical research company focusing on HIV/AIDS, her work included clinical trial design, fundraising, statistical analysis and health-related quality of life research. She was a long-time director of the Actors’ Fund of Canada and the World Dance Alliance.