Mime: Exercise of Style
The term ‘Exercise of Style’ has come from the French school of Mime. Various mimetic illusory techniques used in mime presentations whether articular physical skill and control is necessary have been put together where no particular emotional impetus is involved. These ‘exercise of style’ are concerned with walking on the spot, running, pulling, lifting, throwing, flying, floating.
Walks: (Where one stays on the spot but gives the impression of moving from one place to another.) Front walk: Feet slightly apart. Transfer weight over one foot and then the other. Then weight over one foot and other foot sliding on the floor.
1. Begin with feet together. One foot forwards, toe contacting floor. Take supporting foot onto the ball of foot and this effort pulls the front foot back to its original position besides the other foot.
2. Begin with the feet together –then one foot goes forwards, parallel to the floor, but not contacting the floor. This supporting foot goes onto the ball of the foot and this causes the forward foot to come back to its original position when it drops to the floor. The action is then repeated with the other foot.
Climbing the Ladder: Transfer weight from one foot to the other letting the body lift as the transfer is made. At the same time the hands holding the sides of the rungs of the ladder go down one step length. Then the hands get a new hold on the ladder and a new step is made. Shape ad width of the new ladder must be constant (signified by descent of hands down sides of the ladder) must be logical.
Pulling: Beginning: Arms stretched to side –feel pull of top half of body. First to one side and then the other. This is not a pull from the waist but rather placing to the chest.
Rope Pulling: Hold rope in both hands to side – let thickness of rope be constant in both hands. Extend arms to side as far as they will go (body facing front) and then feel the additional pull of the rope as the top part of the body takes extra strain –then pull back with body, followed by arms.
Flying: Holding balloons, umbrella or a rope above your head extend arms as far as they go vertically, the feel as top part of the body takes extra strain. Let chest extend in direction of upper arm and then this pulls the body onto the toes.
The Carousel: First stage moving round in a perfect circle on toes – letting body float through air in round circle, use very small rapid toe steps. Then repeat circle with regular dip and rise as carousel horse goes up and down. Then hold vertical bar of the horse. Even though logically try to let the body down on the circular track as the arms go on the bar –remember to keep the bar vertical at all times.
The High Wire/Tightrope: One foot in front of the other in a straight line. Heel of front foot against toe of back foot. Slide forward foot forwards in a straight line letting knees bend and body bounce to establish tension of high wire. Then take back foot off ground (wire) and flow it round in space to place it in front of supporting foot (the toe of the supporting leg to contact the heel of the placed foot) then slide the foot forwards, again keeping knees bent.
NB: DO THESE AS PURELY TECHNICAL EXERCISE AT FIRST AND THEN ADD CHARACTERIZATION AND SITUATION.