Somewhile ago in another thread there was some discussion of the worth and history of mime in classical ballet. Below is a list of mime that occurs in various ballets which I used to teach in my ballet classes. Thought it would be fun to share.
First things first...dictionary definition: "the art or technique of portraying a character, mood, idea, or narration by gestures and bodily movements; pantomime."
So, no props and no other dancer is physically manipulated in any way. I've name the ballet in which a particular mime can be seen - depending, of course, on a particular production.
Writing - finger writing on palm of other hand.
Prayer palms together fingers pointing toward torso Romeo and Juliet
Sorrow fists pounding chest Romeo and Juliet
Anger fists pounding toward anothers chest Romeo and Juliet
Chatter fingers of one hand opening and closing with opposing thumb
Goodbye hands waving Graduation Ball
Nobel female expecting to be greeted hand held out to be kissed Giselle
Direction index finger indicates direction Swan Lake
Size one hand, palm down indicates height
Indicating female - hands making successive curves moving downward
A strong, heavy person puffed out cheeks, hands held in fists, rounded at sides of body, puffed out chest
Hunger hand pats stomach
Sleep cheek laid on hands, palms together
Change of character presentation one hand makes circle around face moving from top (fingers open) to bottom (fingers closed) - Baryshnikov in Vestris.
Reading two palms face up side by side Coppelia
Bad odor fingers over nostrils Romeo and Juliet
Blind hand out, palm down, feeling around empty air Don Quixote
Scheming fingers moving down along sides of chin Coppelia
Quiet finger over lips Coppelia
Go away two hands palms pushing away Romeo and Juliet
Begging hands clasped and raised fingers Romeo and Juliet
Please palms together pointed outward
Fear arms over face
Headache or not feeling well back of hand to forehead Romeo and Juliet
Flight or bird undulating arms Graduation Ball, Swan Lake
Crying face in both palms Romeo and Juliet
Trembling knocking knees Graduation Ball
Cold rubbing arms Giselle
Getting ready to meet someone straightening/brushing off clothes and smoothing hair Romeo and Juliet, Giselle
Playing an instrument strumming hands, or pretending to play a flute
Thinking two fingers at temple Coppelia
Idea one finger taps forehead Coppelia
Revenge clenched fist comes from overhead to down in front of body a strong sustained motion La Bayadere
Death hands over head fists crossed at wrists, come down in front of body to waist level a strong motion Giselle
Life hands rise at either side of body to well over head, palms up.
Speak side of hand to mouth La Sylphide
Listen side of hand to ear Les Sylphides
Dance hands circle each other overhead Giselle
Kiss fingers to lips moving outward
Beauty one hand circles face Giselle
No one or two hands moving away from body palms out Giselle
Now finger points decisively downward, Giselle
You gentle movement one hand motioning away palm opening facing upward.
Me one or two hands fingers moving to chest
Why two hands, moving outward palms opening up, gentle motion La Sylphide
Love one or two hands on heart
Heartfelt emotion left palm on heart right fingers beating on back of left hand
Promise - vow two fingers raised over head Swan Lake
Marriage or engagement right hand indicates left ring finger Swan Lake, Giselle
See finger indicates eye Giselle
Anothers shame wagging index finger
Go away romantic style palms outward, two hands moving from one side of the body to another going away
Come romantic palms inward, two hands moving from one side of body to another coming toward, palms up
Crown side of one hand coming down toward top of head three times- slicing movement
Tears palms toward face moving downward fingers gently moving
Secret hand severely cupping side of mouth Graduation Ball
Tired fingers rubbing eyes
Happiness/joy hands clasped under chin
Getting rid of a bad smell hand waving under nose Romeo and Juliet
Chilled hands grasping opposing upper arms
Shout both hands cupping mouth
Impatience/frustration hands on hips foot tapping
Maturation (female) hands under breasts Romeo and Juliet
Craftsmen/artisans gently hammer fist onto open palm of other hand
No money motion as if pulling out empty pockets
Money one hand making dropping motions into open palm of other hand
Children indicate various heights La Fille Mal Gardee
Pregnancy indicate stomach bulge La Fille Mal Gardee
Crazy finger circling by ear
Please feel free to add to the list with or without the names of the ballets in which it may (depending upon a particular production) occur.
But...remember, no props. So Giselle pulling the petals off an actual flower doesn't qualify. However, when she later mimes that action (no actual flower) in the Mad Scene - it would qualify!