Diaspora Armenian intellectuals: Vahram Zaryan

There are people in Armenia who still remember Marseilles Marseau, who is the greatest representative of the French and international school of mime.

His miming tours in Yerevan in the 1960s and his performances have always sparked special interest in them on different stages around the world. The great master of miming had many students in different countries around the world, and one of them is Vahram Zaryan, wh ois disseminating the traditions of Marseau’s school everywhere.

Vahram Zaryan learned the principles of style and expression in miming, acquired the skills in shaping a stage character, technical delicacies that contribute to the integration of art and idea and the emphases from his notable teacher.  Today, Vahram Zaryan has created a theater company that includes Lena Viritzel and Shinya Yamahoto, and the highly recognized theater is called Theatre Suspendu. All mimers in the theater company have made the transition through the Marseau school, and the master considered them his most talented students.

Vahram Zaryan was born in the Shirakamut (former Nalband) village of Lori province. Having been admired by theater since childhood, Zaryan studied at the drama studio of the Union of Theater Figures of Armenia in Vanadzor where many well-known artists have studied theater and cinema. Then, he studied in the Acting Faculty at Yerevan Art and Theater Institute as a student at Guzh Manukyan’s studio. During his years of study, he got acquainted with artistic director of the Mime Theater Jirair Dadasyan, he took his first steps in the theater headed by Dadasyan and successfully performed in the play “Flight. Despite his successes, Vahram set the objective to receive a European education and get acquainted with the delicacies of the art of miming. He left for Germany where he met Marseilles Marseau. Vahram declined tempting offers made in Germany and left for Paris where he was going to study hard.

After finishing his studies, Vahram became a recipient of the Young Talents award being held in Paris and became the leading actor in Theatre Suspendu. Today, Vahram Zaryan performs on different stages around the world, develops new, original elements in miming since the latter requires ongoing movement and innovations. A number of Vahram’s performances are brilliantly expressed as the actor moves and manages to penetrate into the gaps of human essence and sometimes tries to make the in-depth philosophy primary. His art is special thanks to these penetrations and generalizations that present man’s happiness, misery and his inner conflicts. Vahram’s heroes sometimes become lonely and helpless, and sometimes they are in the society and are spinning around in happiness.

A year ago, Vahram Zaryan participated in the international mime festival held in Tsakhkadzor and gave a master’s class for the youth. He will also make an appearance in Armenia in the fall.

Levon Mutafyan
Photos by JanaJ

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