Speaking without words

Speaking without words

A team of students learn the secrets of mime and discover the power of facial expressions from an expert

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Warm-up exercises keep the body fit for mime work
Warm-up exercises keep the body fit for mime work
On October 30, the Young Post Junior Reporters attended a mime workshop run by Danny Suen at the HKICC Lee Shau Lee School of Creativity (HKSC) in Lok Fu. Here are some of their thoughts.

Sophie Cheung

The first thing Danny did was take us outside to play catch. As we stood shivering, I wondered why we weren't learning mime. But Danny told us the rules of his version of catch: we couldn't speak. We had to use eye contact to tell each other we were about to throw them the ball. I realised we were learning two crucial skills: eye contact and uninhibited movement.

We then learned the classic "invisible wall" move and how to make it look as if there is really a wall in front of you. Finally we had to tell a story through mime in four freeze-frames. This was really hard! The workshop gave me a new respect for mime artists.

Janet Tam

I always thought that the art of expressing yourself using facial and body movements would be challenging. And it was. But I learned that typical mime actions, like pretending to climb a wall, are easier if you do it step by step.

I also enjoyed the exercise where we showed different "masks" - happy, sad or angry emotions on our faces. This was a valuable experience and a real taste of mime.

Wong Chun-sing

I've watched a lot of performing arts, such as singing and acting. But mime was new to me. I love the idea of using my face and body to express emotions and a story. I love this, as I'm not very talkative.

Two verbs that are very important in mine are "create" and "believe". There are no props, so you have to "create" an object. Then you have to believe that it is real so that the audience will believe, too.

Mime is a magical performing art. I would like to find out more about it. I think it should be promoted more as a way to help people wind down from the pressure of school or work.

Miranda Yeung

Mime is an amazing art form where artists are able to show things merely by using their body.

We were taught two basic illusions. The first was to appear to be running furiously but never actually move forward. The second is appearing to be walking next to and brushing your fingers along an invisible wall. Danny made these actions seem simple, believable and easy, but we had to work hard to make them as realistic as he did.

When we worked on our four-frame story, we chose to portray the moment when a guy realises he has unwittingly gone into the girls' toilet.

Nola Yip

This was the first time I'd seen mime. It was different from what I expected. We learned to express emotion using body language. I found the exercises very relaxing.

The workshop taught me how to open up and express myself. I also learned that performing mime for others is very entertaining.

Ruby Leung

Danny first taught us how to "run" in mime. It's similar to moonwalking, but you don't go anywhere. Next, we learned what to do with our hands. I thought it was easier than the "run", but Danny said I looked drunk!

The workshop was lots of fun - but it made me realise I much prefer speaking loudly on stage!


The Junior reporters learn to show what they're really feeling: (from left) Janet Tam, Coco Lam, Nola Yip, Ruby Leung, Sophie Cheung, Miranda Yeung, Danny and Wong Chun-sing

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