Copyright © E.Y.Yanagi
Principal Character Dancer
Shawn Bryan left Hollywood, California in his high school days to study on a language scholarship in France. He took the baccalaureat in Paris, then studied Russian and history at the Sorbonne. While he was a student, he trained in fencing at the Marcel Marceau School of Mime, where Marceau's longtime stage partner and director of the school, Pierre Verry, encouraged him to enroll as a mime. In 1978, after finishing graduate studies in Slavic languages at the University of Chicago, he returned to Paris and joined the new Ecole de Mimodrame at the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin, soon succeeding Verry himself as Marceau's presentateur on stage on his tours throughout the world. These included the historic tour of the People's Republic of China in 1982. In Paris, he studied character dance with Irina Grjebina and took part in Philippe Gaulier's Jeu and Bouffons workshops, touring in France and abroad as a dancing clown. Also, in a trio with Bertrand Crimet and Christian-Marie Lapchine he performed the silent riddle episodes in the French television series Les Descendants. Shawn's involvement with the Slavic languages has often led him to Russia and Poland, but also, indirectly, to Vienna, where, after the opening of the eastern borders and the outbreak of ethnic violence in Yugoslavia, he performed a multilingual satire in the production Exil at the Theater an der Wien, a clown's response to xenophobia. In Cracow, Poland, in performances and workshops, he devoted himself for more than a decade to putting language itself on stage, exploiting various theatrical means to stimulate - or simply to indulge in - the love of language. During the winter of 2007, having returned to Southern California for his first extended visit in many years, he was invited by Victoria Koenig to perform the part of Drosselmeyer in the Inland Pacific Ballet's joyous production of The Nutcracker.