Suu’s Satellite Salon Series Offers
“The Sounds of Silence: Music, Marimba & Mime”
January 25, 2014
Photo: C. Nicholas Johnson, courtesy of C. Nicholas Johnson
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: Two distinctively different artists join together for a memorable weekend merging music and mime. SUU’s innovative Satellite Salon Series presents The Sounds of Silence: Music, Marimba & Mime. Developed by members of Departments of Music and Education, features series creator, Dr. Lynn Vartan, percussionist, and mime C. Nicholas Johnson collaborating on two unique events. These artists will participate in a joint concert on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30pm. On Saturday morning, Vartan and Johnson will participate in a family workshop, Arts Unwrapped, at 10:30am. The concert will take place at Thorley Recital Hall in SUU’s Music Building and Arts Unwrapped in SUU’s South Hall. All events are free and opened to the general public.
Arts Unwrapped invites youngsters and their parents to explore the basic movements of traditional mime with Johnson accompanied by Vartan on the marimba. Children and parents are asked to wear sneakers or flexible shoes for easy movement. Noisy children are welcome to attend with their parents who can walk them around the family-friendly event geared to young children, families and the community. This event will be held in SUU’s South Hall.
The weekend’s highlight will beThe Sounds of Silence: Music, Marimba & Mime, a concert showcasing the beauty of mime with music performed on the marimba. The concert will be performed on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30pm in Thorley Recital Hall in SUU’s Music Building. Music and classic mime blend together for a truly memorable evening – that is not to be missed
C. Nicholas Johnson was introduced to mime by Gregg Goldston and dance by Joan Woodbury in Salt Lake City. He continued his parallel training in New York City with renowned Polish mime director and performer, Stefan Niedzialkowski, and became a company member of Niedzialkowski’s company, Mimedance Theatre. In 1980, he co-founded the Goldston School for Mimes, a summer program dedicated to teaching mime based at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, where he fused his eclectic training into an artistic vision of choreography that reflects both mime and dance. Goldston and Johnson formed The Invisible People Mime Theatre in 1986 which was invited in 1988 to perform at the Marcel Marceau World Centre for Mime in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Marceau, became mentor and advisor to the school and company and Johnson created the solo A Fisherman’s Dream for Marceau. In 1989, Johnson became Associate Artistic Director when the school was renamed The Goldston & Johnson School for Mimes. Marceau taught at the school for six years, and Niedzialkowski has also taught at the school. In 1990 Johnson developed Alithea Creations, a company dedicated to the production of multi-discipline performances in mime theatre. Seeing the need for an American mime identity, Johnson created new works and re-stage former company pieces for the Alithea Mime Theatre. In 1994, Mr. Johnson premiered his production Seg way, a multi-disciplinary performance combining film with mime, dance and original music. Johnson received a 1998 Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship for his multi-disciplinary vision. Johnson also placed 1st and 3rd in the 1998 Kan Film Festival for the unique Seg way films and won first place in the Wichita National Short Film Competition 2002. As Artistic Director of The Alithea Mime Theatre, based in Wichita, Johnson and his wife, Sabrina Vasquez, have toured Alithea to the International Mime Art Festival, Warsaw, Poland, and the First International Mime and Physical Theatre Festival in the Caribbean, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The documentary film, Beyond the Word, made in collaboration with the Wichita State University Media Resource Center documenting the tour to Poland, directed by Greg Mathias, won a national Telly Award in 2001. In January 2000, Alithea Creations created and produced Alice, a multi-disciplinary children’s theatre production based on Through the Looking Glass. Johnson completed an MFA in Dance/Drama at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and became adjunct faculty where he kick started the jazz dance program and introduced mime theatre classes to the curriculum. In 1997, Johnson became Director of Dance at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, where he teaches mime theatre, modern dance, jazz dance, and movement for actors.
Dr. Lynn Vartan is percussionist for Southwest Chamber Music, two-time Grammy® nominee in the “Best Classical Album of the Year” and “Best Small Ensemble with or without a conductor” categories. Vartan has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Different Trains Series and has soloed with the Music and the Court series in Pasadena, California, and the Sierra Wind Symphony. She is currently producing two solo albums which will be released next year. Vartan received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California with special honors and recognition. She teaches percussion at Southern Utah University.
The Satellite Salon Series allows for personal interaction and communication between a resident or guest musician and or visual artist and music students from SUU and the region through master classes, question and answer sessions and workshops. The Series is also an educational program, designed to give southern Utah rural high school students the opportunity to learn from professional musicians and artists during the Master's Class. The "Arts Unwrapped" component provides a casual concert or visual art experience for young children in the community, where they can sit on stage and listen and watch the performer or participate in a hands-on music or art project.
Satellite Salon Series and Arts Unwrapped are made possible by funding from Arts Fusion, Arts Works for Kids!, and a grant from the Arts In Education Program with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.
Experience the visual delights of mime with the joyous sounds of the marimba. Don’t miss The Sounds of Silence. For more information on the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts events, please call the Arts Hotline at (435) 865-8800, or visit www.suu.edu/pva/arts.