Naomi S. Mindlin, professional dancer, creative choreographer, teacher, writer and editor, dies at 73

Naomi S. Mindlin, 73, of Langhorne, a professional dancer, creative choreographer, teacher, editor and writer, died Monday, Aug. 22, of glioblastoma at Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.

Always active and creative, Ms. Mindlin began dancing as a child in the 1950s and toured the world in the early 1980s as a professional dancer with New York’s famed José Limón dance company. She simply applied to be an extra in the cutting-edge modern dance company, was invited to join in 1980, and spent the next two years performing across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Spain and France.

Previously, she danced with small companies in New York. Later, she performed frequently at the Painted Bride Art Center, Temple University’s Conwell Dance Theater, Drexel University’s Mandell Theater, and elsewhere in Philadelphia and New York. Her last major dance role was a 2009 performance of her daughter’s senior year production at the University of Utah.

“She was an incandescent performer who conveyed her spiritual depth with technical acumen,” her family said in a tribute. Her husband Stephen Perloff said: ‘Even in a dancing group you couldn’t take your eyes off her. She was so gorgeous. … She was breathtaking.

Ms. Mindlin moved to Langhorne with her husband in 1983, taught dance at the University of the Arts and other schools and venues, and was associate director of the modern dance company Dance Conduit in Philadelphia. She has also choreographed performances inspired by her own experiences with the Holocaust, public and personal isolation, and motherhood.

She has organized dance workshops and obtained a development grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts and fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. “It was cool to see how committed she was to learning and growing throughout her life,” her daughter Cressa said.

An avid reader, tireless researcher and fastidious editor, Ms. Mindlin has made in-depth reviews of notable dancers and edited numerous publications and books, including those from 1998. Doris Humphrey: A Centenary Issue and The vision of modern dance: in the words of its creators. She also wrote articles and reviewed performances in the 1980s and 1990s for the Bucks County Courier Times, Dance Notation Journal, Photo Review and other publications.

In a 1991 opinion piece for the Daily News, Ms. Mindlin warned of dwindling funding for local dance companies and reminded readers of “the power of dance, its vitality and the strength of its integrations into our definition of ourselves as a community. ”

Her family said, “Naomi’s life was in her dancing and her dancing was her life.”

Born December 2, 1948, Naomi Susan Mindlin grew up in Bethlehem, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 1970, and worked for a time as a psycholinguistics research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But she couldn’t stop dancing, so she went to New York, earned a master’s degree in dance from New York University’s Gallatin School, and spent much of the 1970s training with innovators. in dance such as Marjorie Mussman, Maggie Black, Margaret Beals and Bertram Ross. After touring with the Limón company, she met Perloff, photographer and editor, at her former boyfriend’s wedding, and they married in 1985.

The couple lived in Langhorne, had daughters Cressa and Emma, ​​and Ms Mindlin traveled to New York and Philadelphia to perform and teach. She became a certified Pilates instructor in 2003 and helped found the Tzedek v’Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue in Newtown, Bucks County.

Friendly, eclectic in her interests and attentive to detail in everything she did, Ms Mindlin’s father was a judge and she inherited his ‘justice gene’, said his daughter, Cressa. She loved to knit and created sweaters, slippers, mittens, baby hats and booties for her friends and family.

She and her husband had their own special handshake to celebrate the Phillies’ wins, and her family benefited from her unwavering strength of character. “When she supported you, she supported you like you needed it, not like her thought you needed it,” her daughter Emma said. “She just loved you and made room for you to be your whole self.”

Her daughter Cressa said: “It was part of her magic.”

In addition to her husband and daughters, Mrs. Mindlin is survived by a brother and other relatives.

Services were August 24.

Donations in his name may be made to Planned Parenthood, Attn. Online Services, PO Box 97166, Washington, DC, 20090; American Civil Liberties Union, 9450 SW Gemini Dr., PMB 62825, Beaverton, Oregon 97008; and the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023.