Dancer, choreographer, director, and community organizer Darius Barnes has passed away at the age of 34. The news was shared at the request of his family by Dance Theatre of Harlem on Twitter. The Broadway alum was preparing to serve as associate choreographer on the upcoming Broadway production of Kimberly Akimbo.
A devoted dancer, Mr. Barnes attended the Baltimore School for the Arts prior to his acceptance to the School of American Ballet, where he received the Rudolf Nureyev & the Estelle Dennis scholarships. Additionally, Mr. Barnes studied at the Kirov Ballet Academy, Chautauqua Institute, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. Beginning as an apprentice and corps de ballet member of the New York City Ballet, Mr. Barnes also danced with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and worked with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
With time, Mr. Barnes transitioned from the world of classical dance to theatre dance, appearing on Broadway in Mean Girls, Memphis, Kiss Me Kate, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Mr. Barnes made his Off-Broadway debut in The New Group's revival of Sweet Charity, and appeared in The Guthrie production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the world premiere of The Sting at Paper Mill Playhouse, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at the Kennedy Center, and Cabin In The Sky for New York City Center Encores!.
In recent years, Mr. Barnes had begun choreographing, and he was the associate choreographer for the Off-Broadway production of Kimberly Akimbo, set to debut on Broadway later this season.
Mr. Barnes was the associate executive producer, associate creative director, choreographer, writer, and editor of the inaugural Antonyo Awards, which honors Black theatre makers and their contributions to the American theatre.
Plans for a celebration of life are forthcoming, to be announced via Dance Theatre of Harlem.