Caroline Rocher Barnes trained at the Conservatoire de Montpellier in France with Madame Claparède and later graduated from the Rudra Béjart Art School in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1998, she moved to America to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. In 1999, Mrs. Rocher Barnes joined The Dance Theatre of Harlem under the mentorship of Arthur Mitchell, was promoted to the rank of soloist in 2000 and then Principal Dancer the following year. Her professional career extends internationally as she danced with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich, Germany, the Lyon Opera Ballet in France, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco.
In 2001 Mrs. Rocher Barnes was named “25 to watch” in Dance Magazine. She also collaborated with international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov at the Career Transition For Dancers Gala in New York and was invited to perform at “Le Gala des Etoiles du 21ème siècle” in Paris in 2004.
Mrs. Rocher Barnes has performed works by acclaimed choreographers such as Marius Petipa, John Cranko, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Hans Van Manen, John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart, Maguy Marin, Jacopo Godani, Robert Dekkers, Dwight Rhoden, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Arthur Mitchell, Michael Smuin, Glen Tetley and Alonzo King.
Alongside her dance career, Mrs. Rocher Barnes has been a great advocate for passing on her craft to the next generation of dancers. For the past 15 years, she has been teaching worldwide and in 2015, she traveled to Cape Town as part of The LEAP-SOUTH AFRICA Project. There, she taught young dancers at the CAPA Art School, and in the public schools located in the townships of Khayelitsha, and Guguletu. She currently teaches at The School of The Washington Ballet and at The Citydance Conservatory. She is also Adjunct faculty at George Mason University and at Prince George’s Community College, and she’s part of the LINES Ballet Summer Program faculty.
Mrs. Rocher Barnes graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Mary’s College of California and holds a BA in Performing Arts.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Discovery Project, Summer Program
Photography | © RJ Muna