The Clive Barnes Foundation
(The Clive Barnes Foundation Web Page)
(Clive Barnes Bio)
The Second Annual Awards for
Young Talents in Dance & Theater
Walter Reade Theater
(Walter Reade Theater Web Page)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 5, 2011
I truly miss seeing Clive Barnes at the theater and the ballet, as he was always a loyal devotee, a critic extraordinaire, and an ebullient presence on talk shows and in the press. His wife, Valerie Taylor-Barnes, President of the Board of Directors of the Clive Barnes Foundation, spoke at this Awards event at Walter Reade Theater. Michael Reidel, a Broadway critic for the New York Post, as well as a theater talk show host on PBS, was this event's Master of Ceremonies. He was engaging and entertaining, introducing today’s presenters and the Foundation’s goals and achievements. Ms. Taylor-Barnes related anecdotes about her late husband, turning the podium over to Chase Finlay, a New York City Ballet Soloist, who has been reviewed often in this magazine. Mr. Finlay had won last year’s inaugural Clive Barnes Dance Award, before his promotion from Corps to Soloist. Mr. Finlay spoke about his Award experience and its influence on his work.
The four finalists, all in attendance today, were Isabella Boylston, a Soloist with American Ballet Theater, Barrington Hinds, with the Stephen Petronio Company, Natalie Mackessy, also with the Petronio Company, and Michael Novak, with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Each dance finalist introduced himself/herself, and each expressed gratitude for the honor of attendance. It was fitting to hold this ceremony in a movie theater (The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents its films here), because expansive photos were projected of each finalist, bringing them to life as dancers and actors, right onstage. Frederic Franklin, who still occasionally performs with American Ballet Theater (ABT) as Friar Laurence, and who is now 97 years old, was a crisp speaker, reminiscing affectionately of Mr. Barnes, a fellow Englishman. Mr. Franklin announced the Clive Barnes Dance Award winner, Isabella Boylston, and she made yet another speech, thanking the Foundation, ABT, and the crowd.
The actor, Nina Arianda, who appeared last year on Broadway in Born Yesterday, and this year in Venus in Fur, was last year’s Award winner for theater. She spoke of the energy and thrill of that award experience, and how her career has blossomed with Drama Desk and Tony nominations. She introduced this year’s theater finalists, Annaleigh Ashford of Rent, Jennifer Damiano of Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, Josh Grisetti, of Enter Laughing, and MJ Rodriguez of Rent, a show that moved from Broadway to the smaller Off-Broadway scene. She gave the Clive Barnes Theater Award to a tearful and effusive MJ Rodriguez. He was taken by surprise and thanked many in his life for this moment. Michael Reidel gave closing remarks, before a reception upstairs for all the finalists, their company reps, and the audience. I enjoyed chatting with a group from the Taylor Dance Company, including Michael Novak, and learning more about their new Company home. Kudos to all the finalists, and kudos to Clive Barnes.
Isabella Boylston and the Corps of ABT
in Ratmansky's "The Bright Stream"
Courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor
Courtesy of Clive Barnes Foundation