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Arts and Entertainment

Silent Sundays With Swanson attracts all ages

Brenda Macon

After 30 days, anything can become a habit. Creative genius doesn’t happen overnight, nor does success. It’s said that there are basic habits that high achievers practice. One such habit is of a domestic nature: Make your bed every morning.

Exercise and daily meditations of gratitude are two other practices of successful people.

We are excited to welcome pianist Adam Swanson to the DAC at 2 p.m. Sunday for his illustrious Silent Sundays With Swanson series. I asked him what habits he practices every day to be a master at his craft.

“I got lucky with my fingers. They’re nimble and they’re the right size for the piano,” he said. “I certainly don’t practice every day because the performances have become the practice. I travel out of state at least once a month for ragtime piano festivals. That’s how I got started 20 years ago. Next week, I travel to the World Championship Old Time Piano Playing Contest at Ole Miss University in Oxford, Mississippi. I was 11 the first time I won in the junior division. I’m the only one who ever won it four times. After that, I had to retire, and I am now the emcee for the event. I didn’t start playing the piano until I was 10. It was clear from the start it was something I loved.”

This resonates well with the younger crowd that has started attending the silent film series. Any aspiring musician will be impressed and enthralled by the sheer speed of Adam’s voracious playing. There’s a magic combination between the nostalgia of the stars of the silent film industry–actors like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin–and the live talent happening in real time under the spotlight. He introduces the film that’s about to play, and shares points of interest that are often surprising.

What to expect this Sunday: The feature-length film, “Our Hospitality,” by Buster Keaton has an early 1800s-style train built specially for the movie. One of the musical pieces Swanson uses is Chopin’s “Ocean Etude," at the movie’s climax where Keaton nearly falls down a waterfall. Keaton was famous for doing his own stunts.

In the theater
  • Mr. B’s Vaudeville Show: 7 p.m. May 20. Tickets start at $20, buy them at www.secretcircussociety.com.
  • Silent Sunday With Swanson: 2 p.m. May 21. $10/$15.
  • Adult and teen auditions for Bye Bye Birdie: 6 p.m. May 21.
  • That’s So Durango Adult Variety Show: 7:30 p.m. May 26-27 and June 2-3. Tickets $10/$15.
Art classes and gallery events
  • The Looking Glass Collective exhibit “Art Inspired by Nature” featuring 14 local artists: runs through June 16. Free.
  • Pastel Workshops by: Juanita Nelson on 4:30-7 p.m. May 23, $90; Yvonne Holland, May 30 & 31, $90.
  • Shop the Artisan’s Market: Noon-6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
  • Adult summer classes and Summer camps for theater and visual arts are now open for online registration. Scholarships available.

For more information, visit DurangoArts.org or find things fast at https://linktr.ee/durangoartscenter.

Brenda Macon has been executive director of Durango Arts Center since 2018.