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Romeo and Juliet

Activities and Questions

Activities / Questions


Exaggerated gestures and Mime are a huge part of ballet and how it communicates to the audience what is going on. See these two videos to be introduced to exaggerated gestures and mime. Below are a couple of short videos looking into this.

Decoding Mime(3:07)

Ballet explained: How to interpret the dance moves(3:08)

Pre Show 



Exercise one: Communication in a nonverbal manner speaking like you are verbal

  1. Place students in pairs or small groups. Have students brainstorm examples of physical gestures and think about what each gesture represents.
  2. Ask them to document these examples by writing, drawing, or photographing each others demonstrating the gesture.
  3. Ask your students to share their examples. You will jot down their responses on
  4. chart paper for the whole class to see.
  5. Create a two-column chart: one column for Gesture and one column for Meaning.
  6. For example Column One, “Shake Head Side to Side”; Column Two, “No.”

 Exercise Two: Emotions

  1. Provide each student with an emotion (example — tired, sad, hungry, excited, thankful, joyous, relief, etc.) which they must convey through their facial and body expressions. After practicing, students can perform for each other and provide constructive feedback on how successful they were in conveying their intent and how they could better convey their intent.

After Show



Since there is no speaking in ballet, non-verbal communication or mime is very important. Describe a situation in which you might use non-verbal communication to get your point across. 

Exercise Three: Parts of a Ballet

There are three main parts in the arch of ballet and two minor ones(usually). They are;

The  pantomime sketch - setting the stage of the story

The Dance composition - A large ensemble piece where the whole troupe is involved. 

Pantomime denouement - the epilogue

The two minor sections are:

Divertissement - Where the soloist, demi-soloist get to show off their talents

Grand pas - Is where the principal dancers are showcased


After seeing the ballet did you recognize any or all of these sections? If so which ones and describe where in the ballet they took place.


  1. If you were to rewrite Romeo and Juliet's story what would be the era you’d have it take place in - prehistoric, ancient Greece and Rome, the present or future?
  2.  Where would it take place in Asia, Africa, South America?
  3. What is the social status of the two families: poor, middle class, rich, or a mix? How would changing the time, place, and context affect the story?


Romeo and Juliet is set During the Italian Renaissance. Research the Italian Renaissance. What is one of its major themes of this period and why do you feel this story was originally placed in it? Talk with your groups and share three ideas with the class. 

The ballet Romeo and Juliet is known for its elaborate costumes and sets. Ballet costumes are quite different from normal clothing. 

  1. What are some of those major differences?
  2. Why do you think these differences exist? 

There are many job opportunities that ballet companies offer besides dancing. Investigate the various careers then choose one to research in-depth. 

  1. Choreographers
  2. Composers 
  3. Conductors
  4. Dancers
  5. Designers:
  6. Costume
  7. Lighting
  8. Stage
  9. Sound
  10. Video
  11. Stagecraft:
  12. Lighting
  13. Sound
  14. Make-up/Wigs
  15. Projection
  16. Props
  17. Stage management
  18. Video
  19. Wardrobe
  20. Technical:
  21. Carpenter
  22. Electrician
  23. Stagehand
  24. Spotlight operator

Do a little googling or go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook(Department of labor and Satistics) and find out about two jobs you may find interesting and find out about what experience is needed, the job description, schooling, and payment you’d receive. Pick one that interests you and write about why you would want to pursue this career path. 




What do you think makes music “danceable”?

What other music makes you want to dance?

What are the main qualities they have? Rhythm, melody, passion?

Listen to a range of different music and try to imagine the type of movements that would suit each of the pieces.



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