It is no exaggeration to say that everything I knew about dance I learned from Clive Barnes. And then I started hanging out with the Dear Friend & Conscience, herself a dancer and balletomane, who actually took me to the performances that the legendary and now late critic would write about.
As befitted Barnes' British working-class background, he was never snooty or presumptuous as many critics of the arts can be. His pithiness was his trademark, and it was not unusual for him to attend repeat performances and pen an analytical piece in addition to an opening-night review. He will be missed.