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April 12, 1981 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-12

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Sunday, April12, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

U-M Mime: Silence is golden

Mime is a fascinating art. Because it is a dramatic
representation that relies on gestures and not words,
the mimist must express his message solely through
physical movements.
Consequently, mime allows for creative inter-
pretations, stimulating one's curiosity and
imagination. The University of Michigan Mime
Troupe captured the essence of this "silent art" in
their debut at the Michigan Theatre Friday night.
THE GROUP is directed by Perry Perrault and
Tom Drotar. Perrault, who has studied mime for
seven years, teaches in the French Barrault/Mar-
ceau style. He and Drotar founded the troupe"in the
fall of 1980 when ten students with no formal mime
experience were selected to be trained in basic mime
The performance took on the vaudeville-type style.
Live organ music played as the audience entered the
theatre, creating a carnival-like mood and preparing
the audience for an enjoyable evening.
The audience was mesmerized from the moment
the mimists entered. We realized immediately that
these are skillful individuals who take their art
seriously. The troupe is able to capture the mood of
common, everyday situations.
EVERYONE can identify with the simple ideas

they illustrated through their clever expressions: a
burglary, a Sunday driver, and a night at the movies.
In "A Bangled Burglary," the sleeping man shows
that he is snoring by opening and closing his mouth.
Characters were involved in other menial tasks
which they expertly conveyed: smoking cigarettes,
driving a car (they swayed back and forth as the car
accelerated), and even picking popcorn kernels out of
their teeth!
In all these instances, the mimists had the insight
to detect what movements the audience would un-
derstand, and they amused us with their depictions of
these antics - without props and, without verbal ex-
The directors introduced other interesting ideas
besides the "cute antics" of the performers; for in-
stance, the theme of sex reversal was played with
throughout the evening. Women took on typically
masculine roles like a burglar and a squad leader. It
was a particularly fascinating innovation subtly con-
veyed through light humor.
THE TROUPE transcended the comical in "The
Execution." Perry Perrault gave an extremely
emotional performance as a convict soon to be put to
death, while the company skillfully played the roles
of desensitized guards. The lighting, combined with
the intense feelings elicited from the performers,
made this a highly dramatic, insightful piece.

"A Starving Musician" also had melancholy
qualities as Thomas Drotar superbly conveyed the
life of a struggling artist. Again, the audience was
touched by his sincerity.
By supplementing the program with both comical
and serious subject matter, Perrault and Drotar
allowed for contrasting emotions and showed us that
their company is not merely one dimensional.
OF COURSE, there were some problems inherent
in the show which revealed the amateur status of the
company. They insisted on relying on music in many
of their pieces, an unnecessary element in the "silent
world" of mime that could have been omitted.
Also, the most deleterious aspect to the performan-
ce was the mimists actually speaking at the finale.
This is taboo in mime, since it not only goes against
the fundamental rules, but destroys the illusion as
well. Our curiosity is stimulated by the mystery these
performers present to us through complete silence;
interrupting this silence destroys our illusion.
Overall, this new company proved themselves to be
entertaining and creative. The response to the group
Friday night was overwhelming as everyone got in-
volved in their multi-faceted movements. Perrault
and Drotar have formed an exquisite, talented group
and I hope to see (not hear) more about them in the

The Pat Metheny Group will be in concert tonight at 8 p.m., in Hill
Auditorium. Metheny, 26, began his rise to fame as the youngest instructor
in the history of the Berklee College of Music at the tender age of nineteen. He
has since released three highly-acclaimed albums and toured much of the
world. His current band includes guitarist Metheny, pianist Lyle Mays,
bassist Steve Rodby, and percussionist Dan Gottleib. Good tickets are still

Hopping with Echo and the Bunnymen1

As a part of their debut US tour, Echo
and the Bunnymen played at Bookies
Thursday night. Direct from Liverpool,
this four-man band (plus musically ac-
tive roadie) were outstanding. Going to
the show, I expected to hear adequate
renditions of the songs from their late
1980 release, Crocodiles. Instead, I was
surprised with their power as a rock-n-
roll band. Their music practically at-
tacked the audience; it impressed me
with a whole range of strong emotions.
Echo and the Bunnymen are led by
the singer, Ian McCulloch. He's a lanky
young man with striking looks - ab-
$olutely gorgeous. As is the rest of the
band, he's well 'dressed and confident.
McCulloch went through the 16-song set
with ease.
HIS CONTROL over his voice is
remarkable, managing to sound frantic
and contained simultaneously. It
doesn't matter that his bangs fall in his
face and that you can't see his eyes -
you can feel him. At different points
throughout the perftomance, he was
smug, desperate, angry. This
dynamism didn't seem contrived
though; I knew he meant what he was
Musically, the band is something
special. Will Sergeant plays lead guitar
skillfully and effectively; his melodies
are clear and exact. At times, he and
McCulloch traded lead and rhythm par-
ts, illustrating how well they com-
plement each other. Not only were they
well-timed, but I heard them respon-
ding to each other in nuances.
The drummer, Pete DeFreitas, and
the bassist, Les Pattinson, were equally
as precise. There is not just tension ap-
parent here, but a certain tautness that
keeps the members of the band all in
balance with one another.
THEIR MUSICAL adroitness goes
hand in hand with their very strong
songwriting. All of the songs were
powerful and intelligent. Nothing hit
me as filler, which is quite a feat con-
sidering they played eleven new songs.
Although it was nice to hear some
material that I was familiar with from
their record, the new songs were just as
accessible for me.
They opened with something new, en-
titled "The Wall." It was long enough to
have several interesting breaks -
among them were a verse and chorus of
Del Shannon's "Runaway." You should
have seen McCulloch smirk then,
paying homage to an American great.
Equally as cute was the addition of
the chorus of "Get Off Of My Cloud" to

album cut "Villiers Terrace." This
song rather adamantly expresses fear
of drugs: "I've been in a daze for days/
I had a taste of the medicine, but I
didn't like the taste. . . You said people
rolled on carpet but I never
thought/They'd do those things."
This brings me to the question of in-
fluences and derivation. Lots of people
call Echo and the Bunnymen
psychedelic. I have been avoiding the
term rather purposely. Yes, they do
draw from that Jim Morrison intensity,
but they are no Doors-like band. Mc-

Culloch is as emotive as Morrison, and
even as serious as Leonard Cohen; yet
Echo and the Bunnymen are a very
modern and compelling pop band, con-
fronting and reacting to the 1980's.
It has been reported that in Great
Britain, their stage show includes dry
ice. Knowing this, in the middle of the
show I yelled out, "Where's the
smoke?" McCulloch replied, "Where's
the fire?"

the ann arbor
Film cooperative
TODAY presents TODAY
Walt Disney's
Mary Pop9ins
1:00, 3:30, 7:00 8 :30

Summer Fare Series in Rackham Auditorium
The Fontana Ensemble .................... Tues., July 7
Winner of Cliburn Piano Competition.......Tues., July 14
Ruth Laredo, Pianist a
Paula Robison, Flutist ...................Wed., July 22
Ivan Moravec, Pianist .................... Tues., July 28
Northwood Symphonette &
Keith Bryan, Flutist .............Wed., Aug. 5 (in Hill)



Choral Union Series in Hill Auditorium
Zagreb Philharmonic ...................... Fri., Oct. 16
Nathan Milstein, Violinist ...............Thurs., Oct. 29
Soviet Emigre Chamber Orchestra... , .......Tues., Nov. 3
Cesare Siepi, Basso ................. ..Sun., Nov. 22
Vienna Chamber Orchestra &
Philippe Entremont, Conductor & Pianist . . . Tues., Dec. 8
Andre Watts, Pianist &
Charles Treger, Violinist .................Sun., Jan. 10
Dame Janet Baker, Mezzo-Soprano ...........Sun., Jan. 17
Sofia Philharmonic ...................... Thurs., Feb. 4
Detroit Symphony Orchestra,
Erich Bergel, Conductor . ...... ...........Fri., Mar. 5
Maurizio Pollini, Pianist.................Wed., Mar. 24
Chamber Arts Series in Rackham Auditorium
London Early Music Group ................ Fri., Oct. 23
Panocha String Quartet ....................Sat., Nov.
Tashi: Clarinet & Strings .................. Sun., Nov: 15
Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia ...........Sat., Dec. 12
Orpheus Ensemble .......................Sun., Feb. -
Chamber Orchestra of Versailles .......... Thurs., Feb. 18
Heinz Holliger, Oboist .....................Sun., Mar.
Tokyo String Quartet ..................... Sat., Mar 20
Debut and Encore Series in Rackham Auditorium
Aurora Natola-Ginastera, Cellist and
Anthony di Bonaventura, Pianist ......... Sun., Oct. 18
Uto Ughi, Violinist .......................Fri., Nov. 20
Peter Serkin, Pianist ...................Thurs., Mar. 18
Tedd Joselson, Pianist ...................Thurs., Apr. 1
Choice Series in Power Center
Goldovsky Opera Company .....Sat. & Sun., Oct. 10 & 11
Okinawan Dance Troupe .................Wed., Oct. 28
Martha Graham Dance Company Fri.-Sun., Oct. 30 -Nov.l
Lublin Polish Folk Festival ...............Mon., Nov. 23
Paul Gaulin Mime Company .............Tues., Nov. 24

, a &Mao- - in 'W'.~s



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