5 APRIL 1963, Page 17


SIA,—In Mr. Barnes' piece—I cannot call it criti- cisM—about Helpmann's Elektra he makes a series of insulting pronunciamentos de bout en bas about Robert Helpmann, Nadia Nerina, Malcolm Arnold and Dame Ninette de Valois. And 'This must never happen again,' he declares, without giving a single critical reason for anything. Were Mr. Barnes a famous choreographer, ballerina, composer or com- pany director, his words would be worth respect even without a single argued reason. As it is, I only hope the Spectator will give him further space in ,Which to write a criticism, not a howl of anguished flatted; for once Mr. Barnes has conquered his out- raged moral reaction I am sure he will manage to ex- Plain just why Elektra does not satisfy his ideas of ‘vhat a ballet should be, as others have explained