Nina Arianda and Chase Finlay Are First Clive Barnes Award Winners

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09 Nov 2010

Nina Arianda
Nina Arianda
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Nina Arianda of Off-Broadway's Venus in Fur and dancer Chase Finlay of New York City Ballet won top honors at the first Clive Barnes Award ceremony, celebrating the work of young actors and dancers. The awards were handed out Nov. 9 at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

Arianda, Kendrick Jones of The Scottsboro Boys, Noah Robbins of Secrets of the Trade and Brighton Beach Memoirs and Jon Michael Hill of Superior Donuts were among the previously announced finalists.

The not-for-profit Clive Barnes Foundation is named after the late theatre and dance critic who died in 2008 at the age of 81. Barnes' work appeared in the New York Times, the New York Post and many other publications.

His widow, Valerie Taylor Barnes, gathered a "strong-minded panel" to pick finalists. The awards will annually celebrate two top winners, one from the theatre world and one from dance.

Cherry Jones announced the theatre winner, and 96-year-old dance legend Fredric Franklin announced the dance winner.

"He was very keen on young would-be performers and dancers," Valerie Taylor Barnes told Playbill.com. "I decided that's what we should do…honor and continue helping young people. These are all very talented young people."

The awards will address fall-to-spring seasons and be presented annually in the fall.

In addition to the four finalists in theatre named above, the five dance finalists were Aaron Carr (Keigwin + Company), Ghrai DeVore (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Finlay (New York City Ballet), Hee Seo (American Ballet Theatre) and Leann Underwood (American Ballet Theatre).