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Decoding Mime in Ballet


Mime is the art of using one’s face and limbs
and body to express emotion and dramatic action. Because dance is predominantly a silent art
form, therefore the role of storytelling, of which mime is the core part of, is incredibly
important. Yes, it is the text and it’s a very needed
text to tell a story. But I think some people confuse mime as just
a series of gestures with the hands and the arms and the body but, in actual fact, it
comes from deeper than that. You really do need to be emotionally attached
to something. And it’s also connecting the dancer to the
audience or the story to the audience emotionally. When you teach mime, yes, there are the gestures
there are the musical points but you can still interpret those, you can still make those
gestures your own, you can still make the interpretation that you give to them your
own. So you need to have your music right and there
are accents sometimes in the music which you have to get right. But it’s a lot about being able to get a dancer
to actually bare their soul in a sense, or be brave enough to let themselves go. If a dancer can immerse themselves in their
work, I’ve always found that an audience would react to that. It’s very, very important that the performer
is able to transform and transport people.

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