Jeanne Robinson, 1948-2010

Dancer, choreographer, and author Jeanne Robinson died May 30, 2010, at home and surrounded by family, after a long battle with biliary tract cancer. According to husband Spider Robinson, “Her departure was quite peaceful and she was in no pain at all.”

Robinson’s many years as a dancer informed her collaborations with Spider Robinson; their novel Stardance (1979), about zero-gravity dance, was followed by sequels Starseed (1991) and Starmind (1995). A novella version of Stardance won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Robinson studied dance at the Boston Conservatory and with the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey schools, founded the Nova Dance Theatre company in 1980, and served as its artistic director until its closure in 1987. NASA invited Robinson to be the first dancer to dance in space in 1980, however, the Challenger tragedy ended the project. In 2007, Robinson observed and choreographed a dance in a zero-gravity environment, accompanying dancer Kathleen McDonagh aboard a Zero-G plane. She is survived by her husband Spider, daughter Terri, and granddaughter Marisa.

Spider Robinson’s blog post about Jeanne Robinson’s death.

See the July issue of Locus for a complete obituary.