MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW

Valerie Taylor-Barnes, Dancer, Teacher, and Arts Philanthropist, Dead at 88

Valerie Taylor-Barnes, Dancer, Teacher, and Arts Philanthropist, Dead at 88

Valerie and Clive Barnes. © Valerie Taylor-Barnes

Valerie Taylor-Barnes, celebrated ballerina of the Royal Ballet and champion of young artists, passed away peacefully of natural causes on November 18, 2019 at the age of 88. She was preceded in death nearly ten years to the day by her beloved husband, Clive Barnes.

Valerie began dancing at the tender age of 3 and began her training with Sadler’s Wells (later to be called the Royal Ballet) when she was 16. She quickly joined the company in 1948 at the age of 17, owing to her innate ability to quickly pick up on steps given in rapid succession.

Valerie Taylor-Barnes in Les Sylphides.
© Derek Allen

Like many young dancers, she wanted to be a classical dancer, and found great success as a soloist dancing demi-characterère and character roles. Among her favorite roles were the Miller’s Wife in Leonide Massine’s Le Tricorne and the Prelude in Les Sylphides, opposite husband and wife pair Sergei Griforiev and Lubov Tchernicheva. Some of her fondest memories of her time with the Royal Ballet included working with esteemed choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, having danced in several of his premieres, including Cinderella and The Two Pigeons. Her time with the Royal Ballet also gifted her with a cherished, lifelong friendship with Principal Dancer Margot Fonteyn.

Ms. Taylor-Barnes also taught dance for many years, leading her to the U.S. with classes at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Marymount Manhattan College, and Dance Theatre of Harlem alongside her dear friend Arthur Mitchell.
Valerie’s legacy will live on through the continued work of The Clive Barnes Foundation, which she founded in 2009 in honor of her late husband, New York Times and New York Post theater and dance critic Clive Barnes. Both were well-known for their fervent vocal support of dancers and theater artists during their early careers, cultivating the next generation of great performing artists. Each year, the Foundation recognizes a select group of finalists in both theater and dance, with the winners receiving The Clive Barnes Award and a $5,000 award in recognition of their artistry, providing financial support for these bright young artists, in addition to Ms. Taylor-Barnes’ mentorship and unending encouragement.

Previous winners of The Clive Barnes Award, selected by Valerie Taylor-Barnes and a committee of critics and performers, include Nina Arianda, MJ Rodriguez, Rob McClure, Jonny Orsini, Russell Janzen, Alex Sharp, Gemma Bond, and Evan Ruggiero. The ceremony for 10th annual Clive Barnes Awards will take place on Monday, April 6 at 3pm.

Valerie is survived by family members Edward Cartwright, Jacqueline Cartwright, Phillipa Cartwright, Celia Senzar, Katherine Verner, Christopher Barnes, Samuel Clarence, Maya Johansen, and many dear friends.
A celebration of Valerie’s life is being planned for after the New Year. Donations in Valerie’s honor may be sent via check to: The Clive Barnes Foundation, 241 West 23rd Street #4A, New York, NY 10011. 


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

More in Dance

Dance For Free Today With Debbie Allen

Suzanna BowlingMarch 18, 2020

Flamenco Festival 20/20 Comes to New York City Center

Suzanna BowlingFebruary 28, 2020

February is Bursting With Events to Delight

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 26, 2020

Visit The Shed For Free Today

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 11, 2020

January Event Keep The Holidays Going

Suzanna BowlingDecember 28, 2019

Countdown to Christmas Our Holiday Gift Guide Day 16: Learn From and Expert

Suzanna BowlingDecember 16, 2019

The Four Seasons Climate Change Told Through Dance

Suzanna BowlingDecember 1, 2019

December is Full of Events To Make You Ho Ho Ho

Suzanna BowlingNovember 29, 2019

One-Night-Only Anne Carrere and Paris! The Show

Suzanna BowlingOctober 15, 2019