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Barnes is a BESSIE Award-winning former dancer and current répétiteur for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He is currently resident choreographer at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, curator for Contemporary Improvisation for Black Men, choreographer adviser for One Dance-UK's - Dance of the African Diaspora and Movement Research, and advisory board member and curator for the Thelma Hill Performance Arts Center. Barnes is the choreographer of One Love: The Bob Marley Musical which premiered in 2015 at Center Stage in Baltimore, MD. He has created more than 50 works for his dance collective Viewsic Dance, presented on stages and by companies across the world including SummerStage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 92nd Street Y, ICA Boston, Movement Research at the Judson Church, the International Modern Dance Festival (Belarus), Ghana National Dance Company, International Dance Theatre Festival (Lublin, Poland), Friends of Tafo (London, England), Jasmyn Fyffe Dance (Toronto, Canada), and beyond. He has served on the faculty and as a guest choreographer for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Fordham BFA Program at The Ailey School, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive.
He has also worked with Katherine Dunham, Eleo Pomare, Pilobolus, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Group Motions Dance Company, Philadanco, Pacific Conservatory Theatre, and as a guest artist for numerous ballet and contemporary companies.