RenseignementFestival Pan   
 Tournée 2019  | Russie, Arménie, Allemagne, Israël, Pologne, Etats Unis 
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La Compagnie Vahram Zarya et  l'Ensemble Regards se sont réunis pour faire découvrir par la musique contemporaine, performance et  le mime contemporain, une recherche sur le concept de l’oblique. Librement inspiré par des poèmes de Frédéric Parcheminier, le spectacle « Oblique cycle 1- Attracteur Etrange » – est une performance interprétée par un quatuor spécial : deux musiciens et deux performeurs. Dans Oblique cycle 1, l’accordéon est tour-à-tour le double du performeur et de l’acrobate aérienne, hybride avec l’électronique live, et plus intime avec des arrangements de chants venus d’Arménie, de Galice du Japon et de Pologne.  

Musique: Vincent TROLLET, Conception et mise en scène : Vahram ZARYAN, Informatique musicale: Hiromi WATANABE,Vidéo: Auguste DIAZ et Vahram ZARYAN, Lumière: Cédric HENNERE, Conseil dramaturgique : Laurent MUHLEISEN, Collaborations artistiques : Karen HAKOBIAN
Avec: Pauline NADOULEK,  Vahram ZARYAN (performer, mime contemporain) Jean-Etienne SOTTY (musicien, accordéoniste), Victor HUGUENIN (musicien électro-acousticien), Production et administration : Florent BRACON et Jana JASENKOVA
Production: Compagnie Vahram Zaryan et Ensemble Regards, Diffusion : Est’ Nova Production,Coproduction: Atelier du Plateau à Paris (Scène Nationale de Quartier).
OBLIQUE’ Cycle 1 est soutenu par la DRAC Ile-de-France, La Ville de Paris, Spedidam, Sacem, Institut Martin Luther. Avec l’aide d’Arcadi Île-de-France, dans le cadre des Plateaux solidaires.

Vahram Zaryan and the Artistry of Contemporary Mime


French-Armenian mime artist Vahram Zaryan holds a unique place in today’s performance world.
A graduate of Armenia’s National Conservatory in Yerevan and the École internationale de Mime de Paris, he has performed on world stages throughout the United States, Russia and Europe. He has where he studied with many legends across a range of disciplines. To master the artistry of mime, he learned from the master, Marcel Marceau, a French actor and mime most famous for his stage persona as “Bip the Clown.” For dance, he studied with Yves Casati at the l’Opéra de Paris, and the technique Etienne Decroux, he learned from Ivan Bacciochi.
Zaryan’s experimental nature has led him to invent and champion the concept “No-mime”—an attempt to push the boundaries of mime and make it relevant to the contemporary stage. With his Compagnie Vahram Zaryan, he and a small group of fellow artists continue to conceive of new productions, as well as give workshops and master classes, along with his production company Est Nova. It was my pleasure to sit down with him and to get to know this wonderfully erudite and unique performer better.


Christopher Atamian: Vahram, you’ve led a rather peripatetic life and resided in several different countries. What did your travels teach you and how did they influence your identity and your art?

Vahram Zaryan: Travel has been an important means of self-discovery. Each trip that I’ve taken has also been a journey in self-knowledge. It has represented exile, as well. Travel and being in contact with different cultures has paradoxically brought me both closer to my own self while distancing me from it, as well. I’ve always felt 100 percent Armenian and 100 percent French simultaneously. Countries were made in order to be explored, after all. You should never stop moving. And I personally feel that I was born not once but several times, each time in a different place. I was born a first time in Armenia in Shirakamut (formerly Nalband) Village. I was born a second time buried under the rubble of an earthquake whose reverberations I still feel down to my very core. And then I was born a third time when I met my mentor and teacher Marcel Marceau. I experienced yet another birth performing on the stage. I am born and I die each time that I perform, with each story that I tell and through each one of the characters that I create. I’ve often discussed this in my work, most notably in “Mater Replik,” which I premiered in New York City at the Richmond Shepard Theater.

C.A.: How did you train in order to develop your particular contemporary version of mime and performance?

V.Z.: My training as a mime is informed by all of the different forms of contemporary art: it is in dialogue with all of the arts. I studied theater arts at the National Conservatory in Yerevan and later with Marcel Marceau. I also studied classical and contemporary dance, as well as music and traditional theater. Mime is an ancient and well-known art form, yet it is rarely performed. Marcel Marceau is an iconic figure, his work is unique.

C.A.: What led you to this particular contemporary performing art form? I ask, because you have great respect for your craft but you also insist on shaking up many of its existing norms.

V.Z.: Today my latest creations such as Oblique Cycle 1 confirm what I have felt intuitively for several years now, that is to say that a process has developed which involves the disappearance of a formatted, purely social body destined to please society’s gaze, in favor of a more organic and free body. This gives the modern mime today access to a primitive, primal body.

C.A.: You are a proponent of “No-mime,” a new and creative vision for gestural theater. Can you explain to us what this involves?

V.Z.: I develop and create work with a team—along with my dramaturg Florent Bracon—that exists at the crossroads of video, music, and poetry. We are involved in rethinking the fundamentals of contemporary mime: Our work is cross-disciplinary. Everything I experience influences my work. I have brought together a group of artists who have purposefully moved away from traditional pantomime. One of “No-mime”’s objectives is to do away once and for all with the clichéd idea that mime is only about imitation. A certain vision of art must be done away with in mime—the way it happened in painting, for example. I am doing away with the superficial body and replacing it with a body that resounds with organic interior beats/pulsations.
My performances, and their dramaturgy, are never illustrative. When I interpret a performance, my body undergoes a change that gives it access to these vital, passionate, violent, torn pulsations, which establish a rhythm to our relationship with the world. That body goes beyond thought: in a way, thought only watches the body from a distance—the interior sense of touch. Seeing always mean seeing from a distance and seeing the distance itself—the interior sense of touch, which replaces vision, puts the body in contact with itself and transcends the distance of thought.
I have great respect for Marcel Marceau, but I constantly push myself to go beyond his work. To me that is the greatest way to pay homage to him. He opened the way and popularized the art of mime, and he did it poetically. But art has changed, and poetry has as well, and in order to be relevant to the world today and to dialogue with it, the art of mime must also reinvent itself.

C.A.: What is your next important performance and what will be its major themes?

V.Z.:I presented “Mater Replik” in New York, which deals with exile and the inner echoes/trauma that it produces, followed by “With One’s Head Down,” based on a novel by Noelle Châtelet, which deals a man who is born a hermaphrodite, another sort of violent shock. And last year in collaboration with the contemporary composer Vincent Trollet and Ensemble Regards I created “Oblique,” the first part in a triptych. Oblique Cycle 1, subtitled “Strange Attractor” is currently on tour, and my company is going to perform soon in Spain and throughout Europe and Russia. I also created Oblique Cycle 2 which will be presented in 2019. This piece will mix contemporary mime, music, video and poetry, all world premiere/new works. Its major themes revolve around identity and the body’s ambivalence: on stage forces seem to dictate to the performer how to walk and move. These forces include morality, propriety, aesthetics, the family, etc. But interestingly enough the road that our movements take is never the one we expected. Even under constraint the body always deviates from its assigned trajectory. I would say that compared to morality and aesthetics for example–which are external demands, “it never works”, “it’s never perfect.” Well I think it’s because the body screams through these minute deviations that I make visible throughout the performance. The body cries out that it wants to be free, it never corresponds to an ideal.

C.A.: What would you like the reader to know about you, your art, or your performances?

V.Z.: I want to make readers and audiences alike understand that mime is a necessary art in a noisy and talkative world. The mime’s silence doesn’t say “nothing”: it is instead a contrast with the endless noise in a world that doesn’t know what to say. It’s the mime’s silence that makes speech important again.

C.A.: Finally, is there an Armenian context for your art?

V.Z.: My entire story tells the story of my country, my land is always a part of me. the more lands one has, the more food one has which feeds one’s development. And one learns what it means to go away, to leave, and to return. It’s a passionate love story: by that I mean “corporeal, without thought, real and immediate.” “Mater Replik” tells this story in fact, that your homeland follows you wherever you go and how it can give you strong roots, or on the other hand weight you down. At the same time the traditional arts. which are closer to my origins, paradoxically bring me closer to my contemporary creations. There is something organic in them. Also in my works, the contemporary is always accompanied by references to tradition as well. These roots are like the roots of a tree that are deeply ingrained, except they point towards the sky…



Compagnie Vahram Zaryan avec Ensemble Regards
Librement inspiré de poèmes de Frédéric PARCHEMINIER
Oblique Cycle 1  est une œuvre  essentiellement  performative et sonore. 

A l’origine du projet, Vahram Zaryan, chorégraphe et performer, a proposé à un groupe d’artistes le thème de l’ « Oblique ». Frédéric Parcheminier  a alors écrit  les textes, Vincent Trollet une  musique originale pour un accordéon à  quarts de ton avec dispositif électroacoustique. Vahram Zaryan en collaboration avec le compositeur Vincent Trollet ont mis en scène un quatuor composé de deux musiciens, d’un performer et un   acrobate aérien.
La performance Oblique Cycle 1 nous invite à parcourir un chemin intérieur : l’idée fixe, le trouble et la tentation. Sur la scène, leurs inclinations et déséquilibres provoquent une cohabitation inattendue : attracteur étrange, oblique sensible, aller, le bal des ondes. Ainsi, le corps, le son et les mots, s’associent et se rencontrent pour faire  naître un dialogue entre les arts.
La Compagnie Vahram Zaryan crée des spectacles de mime contemporain et des performances en France et à l’étranger. L’Ensemble Regards est un ensemble de musique contemporaine. Oblique Cycle 1, soutenu par Est Nova Production, est le fruit du rapprochement de ces deux structures avec une préoccupation commune, la recherche et  la création interdisciplinaire. 

Musique: Vincent TROLLET
Mise en scène et scénographie: Vahram ZARYAN
Informatique musicale: Hiromi WATANABE
Vidéo: Auguste DIAZ
Lumière: Loïc SAMSON
Conseil dramaturgique : Laurent MUHLEISEN
Avec: Pauline NADOULEK,  Jérôme AUBERT (acrobates aériens),  Vahram ZARYAN  (performer,  mime  contemporain) Jean-Etienne SOTTY (musicien, accordéoniste), Hiromi WATANABE (musicienne, électro-acoustique)


                                                                                                             Vahram Zaryan
<Non-mime> is a contemporarymime movement, process of research occuring in the creations of <Vahram Zaryan> theatrical group, <Vahram Zaryan Company>. Transdisciplinary mime performances are created with the artists belonging to different mime schools denying the traditional pantomime. The performances include various types of art (theatre, video, reading, applied art). The loss of body becomes apparent in the performance. In this case, does the body dynamique disappear? Does the presence of body end as an essential element in the performance?
If it is so, is our perseption on mime lost?
Nowadays contemporary pantomime is no longer the one we used to know.  
The existence of <non-pantomime> is resumed in the perseption of the main essence of pantomime, its source and evolvement, in rising questions upon them.
Such evolvements have occurred in other fields, as well, radically going further form the traditional ones.

                                                                                                                        Vahram Zaryan

‘Body is not the only tool’

No longer concentrating on only the aestetique and visual material of the body, it is attemped to get rid of it, working on the meaning and depth, in which case the very aestetique and visual perception to body is back in another form.
This situation is persived more profoundly and vividly, as it includes not only the questions of time and essence unpersivable with the naked eye.  
Nevertheless, body does not oppose the soul. Body is not considered as a tool to serve the soul. It is no longer a fortress of the primary aim to connect it to the environment.
Nowadays a contemporary artist should no longer be persived as a lonely <wall> opposing the world with its closed and nice performance.

<Non-mime> is an existence in space

Pantomime performance is no longer a platform to show dynamique actions, where the impressive body images and dynamiques  are over-valuated.
Firstly, mime is a means to create and display the emotional disagreements between the artist and the society.
<Non-mime> movement is no longer expected, and allows to persive the meaningful action born in a certain area chosen by the artist, let it be stage, square or street.
Pantomime is an evolving art necessary in our noisy and <talkative> lifestyle.

La Caverne Conception technique, électronique, programmation Paris Nuit Blanche 2016

Installation : Anthony Baillard  
Performance : Vahram Zaryan

Anthony Baillard propose une danse d'ombres et de lumières avec un performeur prisonnier derrière une surface translucide, dans une nouvelle vision de l’allégorie de la caverne de Platon.
L’œuvre est produite par Out of Pluto, une société pluridisciplinaire qui rapproche les mondes de l’art, de la science et de la technologie, et interprétée par le mime et chorégraphe Vahram Zaryan.

Le samedi 1 octobre 2016
de 22h00 à 02h00


Ligne 7: Pont Marie 
Ligne 1: Saint-Paul

La Tête en bas | Vahram Zaryan | Hovhannes Asatour & Marcel Brozio Original Mix

Original Mix inspiré par La Tête en bas| Performance |  Mime contemporain
Librement inspiré du roman éponyme de  Noëlle Châtelet « La tête en bas » publié aux Editions du Seuil et Points
Un spectacle de Vahram Zaryan, artiste de performance
Thérémine :  Armen Ra  | Composition d’Amê
La voix : Artavazd Youzbashyan

OBLIQUE | COMING SOON | Un spectacle mime et musique contemporaine


| la division    comme  


si du monde une coupure

jusqu’à disparaitre

danseur silencieux



par discordance |



Librement inspiré de poèmes de Frédéric Parcheminier
Création : Ensemble REGARDS  et  Compagnie Vahram ZARYAN
Compositeur : Vincent TROLLET
Mime contemporain : Vahram ZARYAN
Accordéons : Fanny VICENS et Jean-Etienne SOTTY
Vidéo : Auguste DIAZ
Lumière : Loïc SAMSON
Régie-son : Keita MATSUMIYA et Hiromi WATANABE