The class that never was… and Ballet Mime

Some of you know that I was planning on taking a ballet class this past Monday. It would have been the first class I’d taken in quite sometime. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I somehow managed to hurt my knee. My knee has always been problematic, but I can usually manage. It is a chronic issue, and most of the time I don’t even feel anything different. Except this Saturday.

Rob and I are huge stationary geeks. I hope this is not weird (of course it is), but pens, notebooks, notepads and post-its make us happy. So you can imagine our enthusiasm when headed to Staples, on a spur of the moment Saturday treat. All was grand, I got a new notebook, we stocked on batteries for our Wii, bought more blue pens to fill our pots at home (aren’t we cool?) and were heading home in a stationary high.

Until I stepped off a kerb and my knee twinged. So far, so normal. It twinges sometimes. But when I got home, it was hurting quite a lot. By the end of the day, it was quite painful to walk. So I didn’t. I didn’t really walk all weekend. My only outing on Sunday was hobbling to the supermarket across the street to buy Harry Potter 7a. And that was quite bad.

I knew I couldn’t do a class this Monday. My knee hadn’t hurt like that in years, so I knew I had to mend it before I could do anything else.

I was bummed, I had been looking forward to class like crazy. Additionally, as my outburst on twitter yesterday suggested, I had a terrible day at work… Not only did I have to hobble to work (ouch), but I argued with my boss, and it just added to my general feelings of unease regarding my job.

But the day was not a total loss. I am so lucky to live with my best friend (aaaawwww), so Rob and I had a lovely, relaxing evening together. We also work very close to each other, so we met at lunch time, which also made me feel better.

I also spent a lot of the day thinking about how much I love ballet mime. I know it is not to everyone’s taste, but I think it is absolutely lovely. The gorgeous Bag Ladies at the Ballet Bag once wrote a great post about ballet mime. I highly recommend it for some great information and videos.

They include what is possibly my favourite ballet mime: When Odette meets Siegfired for the first time, and tells him her story:



The music that follows the mime is my favourite piece of music from Swan Lake too. For me, it represents Odette speaking. She is nervous, sad, scared, but also hopeful. So, so beautiful.

The Royal Ballet have a breakdown of this mime on their ABC of Ballet videos:



This video is a triple treat, because I am a fan of both Romany Pajdak and Erico Montes.

The Ballet Bag also have a breakdown and history of Swan Lake, and they link to this wonderful video of Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley rehearsing the mime with Lauren Cuthbertson Rupert Pennefather:



I know it is not for everyone, but I just think it is lovely. Mime sounds so old-fashioned to us nowadays, but I think when it is in the context of a ballet, it is just dancing…