Inspired early on by her love of ballet, Nancy Reynolds began training as a ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet in 1951. In 1957, she was invited to join the New York City Ballet, where she danced for five years while continuing to train at the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School and the Martha Graham School. From there, she studied briefly at Sorbonne University in Paris in 1962 before achieving a Bachelor of Art in art history at Columbia University in 1965 and entering the field of publishing as an editor with Praeger Publishing from 1965 to 1971. While she was no longer dancing herself, Ms. Reynolds still found herself drawn to the field of dance and served as the editor for “Movement and Metaphor: Four Centuries of Ballet” in 1970.
Completing postgraduate studies between 1972 and 1977, Ms. Reynolds worked as a freelance editor for such books as “Dance as a Theatre Art: Source Readings in Dance History from 1581 to the Present” in 1974 and “School of Classical Dance” in 1978. She authored her first book, “Repertory in Review: Forty Years of the New York City Ballet” in 1977. From 1978 to 1993, she served as a co-publisher for “Twentieth-Century Dance in Slides,” a slide library produced by Pictura Dance, while continuing to involve herself in the writing and editing of various dance books. Among countless other publications, Ms. Reynolds authored “The Dance Catalog: A Complete Guide to Today’s World of Dance” in 1979, “In Performance” in 1980, and had the opportunity to edit “Ballet: Bias & Belief” in 1983, a collection of works by former director of the New York City Ballet, Lincoln Kirstein.
Ms. Reynolds began her work on George Balanchine as the director of research for the book “Choreography by George Balanchine: A Catalogue of Works” from 1979 to 1982 and held that same role for a public TV special on Balanchine from 1983 to 1984. In 1994, she joined The George Balanchine Foundation as the director of research and the concept director for the George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives, which she established and considers one of her greatest professional accomplishments. In 2008, Ms. Reynolds served as the editorial director for the updated “Balanchine Catalogue” for the foundation.
Throughout her work with the Balanchine Foundation, Ms. Reynolds has contributed articles to a wide range of professional journals and served as an associate editor for the International Encyclopedia of Dance in 1998. She later authored the 2003 book, “No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century” and edited “Remembering Lincoln” in 2007. Furthermore, she has involved herself in numerous professional organizations, even serving as president of the Dance Critics Association from 1986 to 1987. In 2012, Ms. Reynolds was presented with a Calliope Special Award for Dance Writing from the Dance Critics Association and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award.