Day 33 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons : Ballet Mime
If you’re like me, you talk with your hands. I think sometimes I drive people cray when I do that. But, dancers must speak with their hands if they want audiences to grasp the meaning of their moves and expressions since most of us sit several rows back from center front. Consequently, dancers use mime to enhance their facial expressions and the mood of a story ballet (ie: Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, etc). Let’s look at a few less obvious gestures.
Anger – waving both fists wildly in the air or in the face of the other dancer
Sadness – palms inward trail down the sides of a dancer’s face
Thinking – hand placed near the temple
Beauty – hand circles the face **
Asking – hands claps in front of chest of dancer either standing or kneeling
Knocking – holds palm up and flat; knocks on it with other hand’s fist
Command – point finger straight at the floor
** This and other gestures often match the ASL (American Sign Language). The interesting facts about this is that the dance mime is centuries older than ASL.