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Symbolism?


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#1 Wedgewes

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 08:46 PM

I have just recently started in the world of ballet and have amassed a good collection of performances already (33 :) )

While I can figure out most of what is happening, I am still missing things. Are there any good dvds or anything that describes what the symbolism for the steps and hand movements represent? Thanks

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 08:53 PM

Welcome, Wedgewes! You really are off to a good start!

I suggest Robert Greskovic's "Ballet 101." It's written for you -- intended as an introduction for intelligent adults (as opposed to young dance students) who've just discovered ballet and want to know everything about it. Part of the book takes some of the major classical ballets and goes through a performance on DVD one by one, explaining background, and what one might see when watching them.

There isn't a symbol-per-step guide. It's not that concrete. There are mime (pantomime) gestures that have specific meanings (such as pointing to your ring finger to indicate marriage).

We have forums here for different companies where people discuss performances they've seen. I hope you'll join in those discussions.

#3 Wedgewes

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:52 PM

Welcome, Wedgewes! You really are off to a good start!

I suggest Robert Greskovic's "Ballet 101." It's written for you -- intended as an introduction for intelligent adults (as opposed to young dance students) who've just discovered ballet and want to know everything about it. Part of the book takes some of the major classical ballets and goes through a performance on DVD one by one, explaining background, and what one might see when watching them.

There isn't a symbol-per-step guide. It's not that concrete. There are mime (pantomime) gestures that have specific meanings (such as pointing to your ring finger to indicate marriage).

We have forums here for different companies where people discuss performances they've seen. I hope you'll join in those discussions.


Thanks for the recommendation, thats exactly what I was looking for. I have just ordered it off Amazon.

#4 ami1436

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:22 AM

There's also a great book on Ballet Mime -- I'm traveling right now and thus don't have access, but will post the title when I get back home!

#5 rg

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:11 AM

there is also the video: MIME MATTERS

#6 sunday

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:58 AM

Curious. I was wondering about the mime thing myself, especially after seeing Darcey Bussell -in the Maryinski Swan Lake BR of '06 companion documentary- explaining the mime gestures used in the first encounter between Odette and Siegfried.

Note taken about the books. Thanks!

#7 bart

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:49 AM

And here's the mime rehearsal in which Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley coach two young Royal Ballet principals in some of the most important Swan Lake mime.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

We've discussed this -- and linked to it -- on a couple of other threads: the Darcey Bussell thread and the "How is Choreography Transmitted?" thread.


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