The Clive Barnes Foundation
(The Clive Barnes Foundation Website)
The Fifth Annual Awards in Dance & Theatre
Press: Richard Kornberg & Associates
The Walter Reade Theater
(The Walter Reade Theater Film Page)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 26, 2015
It was worth coming out in a snowstorm today for this very special event. The Fifth Annual Clive Barnes Awards is a must-see, as The Clive Barnes Foundation honors rising stars and generously assists all the Finalists, who are emerging artists in theatre and dance. I still miss seeing Clive Barnes at the theatre and the ballet; 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 today’s Awards event at The Walter Reade Theater. Michael Reidel, a Broadway critic for the New York Post, as well as a theatre talk show host on PBS, was today’s Master of Ceremonies. He was engaging and entertaining, introducing today’s Presenters and the Foundation’s goals and achievements. He also regaled the crowd with anecdotes about Mr. Barnes, telling of his arrival at The New York Times, from the “swinging sensibility of racy London in the 60’s”, and calling him “a great describer of great performances”.
The Presenter for the Dance Award was Julie Kent, a longtime Principal with American Ballet Theatre, soon to retire this spring. She gave a nurturing speech to the Finalists, encouraging them to “zoom in” on their art to find their best possibilities for growth. The four Finalists, who were all in the audience, were Harrison Ball, a Corps dancer with New York City Ballet, Christopher Bloom, a member of Ballet Hispanico, Russell Janzen, a Soloist with New York City Ballet, and Devon Teuscher, a Soloist with American Ballet Theatre. Each Dance Finalist was introduced with slides and/or brief videos, on The Walter Reade screen. This ceremony has evolved, over the past five years with expanded media, yet remains true to its original, cohesive format. The Winner of the 2014 Clive Barnes Dance Award was Mr. Janzen, who spoke to the audience with gratitude.
The Presenter for the Theatre Award was Rob McClure, who’s currently on Broadway in “Honeymoon in Vegas”. Mr. McClure won the 2012 Theatre Award on this very stage. He introduced all the Finalists, with the slide and video presentations, encouraging them to pursue their dreams. The four Finalists, all in the audience, were Jay Armstrong Johnson, who’s currently on Broadway in “On the Town”, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, who was recently on Broadway in “The Last Ship”, Will Pullen, who appeared in “The Wayside Motor Inn” at Signature Theatre, and Alex Sharp, who’s currently on Broadway in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”. The Winner of the 2014 Clive Barnes Theatre Award was Alex Sharp, who was visibly enthused to be onstage, thanking the Clive Barnes Foundation.
Additional speakers today were Lauren Lovette, a Soloist with City Ballet, who won the 2012 Dance Award, Lloyd Mayor, a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, who won the 2013 Dance Award, and Jonny Orsini, an actor, who appeared on Broadway with Nathan Lane in “The Nance”, who won the 2013 Theatre Award. Michael Reidel gave closing remarks, before a reception for all the Winners and Finalists, their company reps, and the audience. I enjoyed chatting with William Ausman, VP of the Foundation Board, about Frederic Franklin, as well as Nureyev. I also chatted with Lloyd Mayor, Jay Armstrong Jones, Julie Kent, Russell Janzen, Rob McClure, and Alex Sharp, all of whom have been featured in reviews on these pages. Kudos to all the Finalists, and kudos to Clive Barnes.