Obit

Clive Barnes Dead

Clive Barnes, the most influential theater critic of his generation, began reviewing dance in Britain, encouraging readers of the Times of London to see dazzling new works by George Balanchine and Martha Graham that other critics ignored. And he continued his evangelical work in New York from the ’60s onward, lending his enthusiasm and erudition to both The New York Times and The New York Post. He wrote defining biographies of Rudolf Nureyev and Frederick Ashton. “Barnes made a point of writing in a conversational manner and of being accessible to readers, always keeping his home telephone number listed in the phone book. He was unafraid of admitting that a work of political or avant-garde dance or drama simply eluded his understanding, rather than simply attacking it for being bad art,” writes Bloomberg’s Jeremy Gerard. He was famous for his pithy put downs. Of the recent Broadway production of To Be or Not to Be, he wrote, "Not. Definitely not."