One of the most beautiful facets of a classical ballet is its use of pantomime to convey the narrative to the audience. As there is traditionally no verbal communication, body language – most specifically, the expressive use of heads and arms – is how ballet dancers speak with one another on the stage as well as how they tell the story to the viewers. Below, Boston Ballet‘s Ballet Master Larissa Ponomarenko coaches Principal Dancers Viktorina Kapitonova and Patrick Yocum in some of the pantomime that takes place in Giselle.
Just as a ballet dancer’s feet articulate the steps, his/her hands are the eloquent words of a conversation. Some of the most common phrases are demonstrated in this video including “You are beautiful”, “I love you”, and “I swear. This serves as a wonderful tool for young artists to mimic and then develop into their own “voice” as well as a useful guide for helping future ballet goers understand better what they are seeing on stage.
Cherilyn's lifelong passion for ballet has opened the door to the next chapter of her journey. Her strong foundation includes training at the School of American Ballet, being a featured dancer with Hartford Ballet and Carolina Ballet, and being co-director/owner of City Ballet Raleigh. She was granted the Affiliate Teacher Award after successfully completing the ABT National Training Curriculum®. A professional career in the industry along with extensive global travel provide her with a unique set of experiences to draw upon as a journalist and audience member. Cherilyn is excited to be sharing her insight about ballet around the world.