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Clive Barnes, 1927-2008


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#1 Alymer

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:51 AM

I've just learned that Clive Barnes died in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday). He was 81 years old and had recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:17 AM

I'm so sorry for this news. He had many good friends.

#3 leonid

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:14 AM

I've just learned that Clive Barnes died in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday). He was 81 years old and had recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver.


Clive Barnes along with Peter Williams, John Percival and Noel Goodwin writing in the magazine "Dance and Dancers" helped to form the ballet taste of at least two generations of ballet lovers in London in the 50's and 60's.
He wrote incisively and picturesquely, alerting one to aspects of production and performance that enriched appreciation of what had been seen. I feel he personally played a part in educating my observational powers and taste. A friendly and energetic personality, approachable and fearless in saying what needed to be said. It can be said he really led a life.
My condolencies to his family.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:15 AM

I am very saddened by this news. One of the great 'traveling critics,' he gave us balletomanes so many years of insightful happiness! I had just seen Mr. Barnes in the audience for one of the October '08 San Fco Ballet-City Center performances, so he was still going to shows very recently.

May he rest in peace.

#5 Jane Simpson

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 05:26 AM

I was one of those who started learning about ballet 50 years or so ago, largely from the pages of Dance& Dancers. I feel I owe Clive Barnes a lot, and I'm sad to hear of his death.

#6 sz

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:39 AM

A great loss. The ballet world will miss him very much.

#7 Renata

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:53 AM

Like Jane, I learned alot about ballet from his column in Dance and Dancers; I always followed his reviews in the NY Times. I am sorry to learn of his passing. It is a loss to dance.

#8 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:04 AM

By his writings Clive Barnes learned so many of us to appreciate ballet and he did until the very end. His contribution to ballet cannot be overestimated.

#9 Dale

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:17 AM

One of the major voices in dance (and theater) criticism is gone.

#10 Farrell Fan

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:47 AM

He was erudite and always entertaining. I'm sorry he's gone.

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:02 AM

From the Post:

http://www.nypost.co...t_81_139521.htm

#12 Cygnet

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:42 AM

This is very sad news! The end of an era. May he rest in peace.

#13 drb

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:36 AM

And in his final ballet review he went out in style, with a rave, a memory, and a pun(ch):

...[Simkin's] effortless dancing had the glint of gold to it, and, matched by a delicious Sarah Lane, he showed the ability to make classic bravura stylistically joyous. Here were two gorgeous dancers, with Simkin brilliantly maintaining the ABT tradition of superb male dancing.

An earlier part of that tradition was Julio Bocca, whose dancing and that of his partner, Cheryl Yeager, was one of the happiest memories I retain from Tharp's 1990 piece.

Today, with a glittering cast led by Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo, I am sure "Brief Fling" is no worse performed. Yet the simplistic classroom vocabulary and its power-driven choreography has lost much of its shock value. That, I suppose, is the danger of shock. Or schlock.


How kind of Daniil and Sarah to give him this one, last, joy.

#14 bart

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:07 PM

Thanks for that last quote, drb. It shows Barnes's ability to write short and to the point, while still communicating a lot. He always seemed always to enjoy his job. The pleasure he took in a good performance, whether you read his reviews the next morning, heard him on the radio, or watched him during intermissions, was palpable. His regular contribution to Dance is -- I'm sorry, was -- always the first thing I turne(d) to.

#15 LiLing

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:02 PM

I will remember Clive Barnes for his kindness and tact, as well as his love of dance.
I remember Clive and his wife at the time, Patricia working to help Valery and Galina Panov get out of Russia, back in the bad old days.
There was however, one time his usual tact was lacking. He praised another ballerina's debut in a Tudor role that was closely identified with Sallie Wilson, in a way she felt insulted her. During an intermission at the Met, she dumped a drink on his head........ he dined out on the story for ages!
May he rest in peace.


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