Master of Ceremonies
April 26, 1955
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Mime, Clown, Singer (Bass-Baritone), Coach|
|Years active||1977 – present|
|Children||Jérôme Bazinet Lemay (b. 1996)|
René Bazinet (born April 26, 1955) is a German stage and film actor. He is well known for being one of the most talented veteran clowns ever to have worked for Cirque du Soleil. In 2007 he became the clown act creator and acting consultant, for Saltimbanco, which was their oldest major touring show, until discontinued after an over 20 year run - in 2013. He has carried on, in this capacity, with Zarkana, a production Cirque du Soleil created in 2011.
Around the age of 20, René began his theatre art studies, at John Abbott College, in Canada, then started performing with the encouragement of one of his teachers, there. The undeniable talent he displayed compelled him to continue his studies in Mime and Clowning, with some of the most influential teachers and coaches, of the 20th century.
Most noteworthy among his instructors are Jacques Lecoq (1921-1999), along with legendary mime Étienne Decroux (1898-1991), who also taught the great mimes Jean-Louis Barrault (1910-1994) and Marcel Marceau (1923-2007). René learned the Feldenkrais Method, too, often referred to simply as "Feldenkrais," which is a somatic educational system designed by Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984). In time, René started to teach Feldenkrais, which aims to reduce pain or limitations in movement, to improve physical function, and to promote general well-being by increasing awareness of oneself and by expanding movement repertoire.
During the learning processes he paid his dues, for 9 years, as a street performer, in Paris and went on to do a number of cabaret and variety club stints, entertain in gala events, work for various theatre companies, etc., throughout Europe and Japan. Along the line, René developed a duo act with a clown partner, David Shiner, that they took on tour, before being hired as lead artist, by the prestigious Cirque du Soleil. For their original production, of "Saltimbanco," he developed and played (5) separate roles - for 4 years - throughout Northern America and in Japan, from 1992 - 1996.
René, subsequently, portrayed the romantic lead in their only full length feature film, to date, "Alegría: An Enchanting Fable," or "Alegría Le Film," based on the tent show Alegría and has, since, reprised his roles in "Saltimbanco," periodically. Over the years he has worked extensively for other well known circus companies such as Roncalli and Salto Natale. René is multilingual, having a facility for languages. He speaks German, English, French and Italian fluently. Continuing to hone his craft, he is well versed in all manner of vocal sound effects, too, is considered to be one of the world's top clowns, and has evolved into a gifted film actor, clown coach and director.
René Bazinet, who stands 5' 9" tall, was born in what was still war torn Germany, a decade after WWII. His biological father was cabaret performer, Willy Degé. He moved to Canada, at the age of 16, shortly after his Mother, Ellen Fiener and Stepfather, Robert Bazinet, relocated there. Being transplanted proved to be somewhat of a culture shock for René, who did not yet speak English. Unable to communicate with fellow classmates easily, while endeavoring to learn his second language, he found solace in communing with nature. During this period René devoted much time to studying and imitating bird calls, which became part of his sound-effect repertoire.
René Bazinet is also a world renowned mime, with a particularly graceful and fluid style, who has served as mentor and inspiration to many other mimes, clowns and stage actors. His long time artistic partner David Shiner, who is also a veteran performer for Cirque du Soleil, as well as one of their show creators and mentors, continues to tour Europe intermittently, with René, in the two-man show they first created back in the 1980s. René once described the goal of every aspiring mime saying that: "Mimes have to fill up the entire space around them."
René Bazinet has acted in the following films:
- Silent Sonata (2010), as Old Man
- In the Cooler -|- Short Experimental Art Film -|- (2009), as Louve
- Alegría (1999), as Frac
- Satie and Suzanne (1994), as Chess Player
- The Man Inside (1990), as Herbert Stroh
- Mit den Clowns kamen die Tränen (1990 TV mini-series)
- La reine de la jungle (1987 TV movie), as Bernadette
- Music Hall (1986 TV movie), as Poum