PRESS SYNTHESIS

Distant seen from Feast of Corpus and Parish staging’s, Valdés Kuri imposes to this (auto sacramental) version his directory contemporary brand. He selects a wide group of actor-musicians –all male- that not only knows how to tell the intricate lyrical verses of Calderon, but to play musical instruments and to sing outstandingly too. In the manner of a Mexican pastorale and following the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and other colonial play writer’s tradition, Valdés Kuri, partly turns melodies, instruments and costume into a Mexican style. Transform the allegory of the elements with coloured large skirts and naked torsos of the four actors into real hieroglyphic characters, sphinxes of a reality, another one, full of suggestion. The Mexican director achieves the spectator’s attention plenty and trapped by a strong stimulation. The charm of the staging and the strength of the theatrical event becomes hypnotics.

Jorge Dubatti
El Tiempo, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 22/ Feb/ 2015


With lack of scenography props, sober moderate costume, and an applicant actor work that claims to the 14 performers to dance, sing, play instruments or recite the complex verses of Calderon de la Barca texts, this Claudio Valdés Kuri version focuses into the alchemy, mysticism and symbolism of the theater piece.Ciertos Habitantes turns timeless Life is a Dream, despite it was written around 1670. The fearless of the staging confirms the outstanding place that this Company owns, proudly, in the international theater, in addition to the multi discipline of the members and the scenic dynamism.Work, nobility, responsibility and love. Truly, a must.

Patricia Martín
El Financiero, 19/ Feb/ 2015


Valdés Kuri played for an artists style –until the last consequences- yes, but reasoned, respecting the verse, the chant, the dance and the music… more than one year and a half of rehearsals before the opening, to aboard a baroque text which, thanks to the staging, is Clearwater, there, where the Man looses his senses and where “the mean” sink their teeth to take him out from the orbit of the “goodness”: an eternal show.Thirteen men who alter in to feminine and masculine. Human beings who looses themselves amid the apparent and unreal, among faith and the loose of believing, among the fear and the guilt, between religious morality or the truth of the science. With Calderon, Valdés Kuri left us troubled in the personal choice: if god is the aggrieve, the human guilt is endless, or not: everlasting satisfaction without God’s fear. Spectators can choice, depending on his own culture.Stage direction is a surprise beyond religious matters. Actors that are actresses that are musicians that are dancers that are singers that are outstanding in the word’s signification, that are drama artists without any prejudice restriction. If it is true that, as Nietzsche notes, “baroque style emerges each time a great art dies”, praise to the great art of Valdés Kuri and team.

Braulio Peralta
Laberinto Milenio, México City, 30/ago/2014


There’s a lack of knowing about the Life is a Dream Calderon rewrites 38 years before in an auto sacramental shape. Now Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes Company, under the direction of Claudio Valdés Kuri brings it to the stage in a provocative and fearless form, stripping the baroque theater from all of its attachments and proposing an empty space where actors, music, motion and lightning creates the play.The aesthetic of the staging of Valdés Kuri is based on philosophical thinking of that time as well as the alchemic and sacred geometry. With lightning rays projected at the floor, appears the circle, the triangle, the square and, even, the pentagon –as the knowledge process-; wires that guide the characters to transit geometrically across the space and transform the place into a mystic one, embracing the macrocosms of universe or the individual microcosms as well.The Ciertos Habitantes staging plays for a polyhydric vision of the actor that dances, sings, plays musical instruments and performs diverse characters. All of them are male, keeping away from the masculine conception as the leading role or the feminine as “the grace”. The beauty of the staging is a fundamental element in the appreciation of the play, a violent and harmonic beauty. At the same time thoughtful profound, playful and provocative.The spiritual inquietude of the director incomes a creative motor that overturns the theater providing it with different forms. With Life is a Dream together the director and the company gift us an enriching experience.

Estela Leñero
Proceso, México City, 10/ago/2014


The verse correspondence amid theology, science, mathematics, geometry, music, humanism, symbols, alchemic, light, shadow, born, death and redemption take form, sound, rhythm and its place in Life is a Dream, auto sacramental that Claudio Valdés Kuri brings into the stage with fourteen actors, dancers, musicians, instrumentalists and singers that shake the Calderon de la Barca text until extract, pristine, its meaning.Valdés Kuri resolves the hard dare of capture on the stage allegorical characters as Earth, Water, Fire and Wind, as well as gifts as the Power, the Wisdom, the Understanding, and the Will, besides the Love, the Shadow and the Light and make them dialogue from the wide capacity of the body and the human voice to express the sacred mysteries, whose base parts of the ease of mind, the purity of heart and humility.The rhythmic, geometric choreography with which the play begins, establish a strong magnetism between performers and spectators which maintains along the play almost all the time, until the devastating scene of the expulsion of the paradise whose sexual content and violence provokes that part of the audience –masculine above all- try to hide, even with the eyes, from what is happening at the stage.The struggle unto the light and the renaissance of a new human being clean of guilt happens on a stage without curtains and walls, with a simple and accurate costume, under certain light that unclothed and with live music that transport, over the artistic expression vehicle, and from the XVII century wisdom until the individual take of conscious, in a present time strongly linked to the universal group which determines us.

Alegría Martínez
Laberinto Milenio, México City, 2/ago/2014


Calderón de la Barca writes comedy, autos sacramentales, entremeses and minor works; without a doubt he never thought that Claudio Valdés Kuri will tropicalized Life is a Dream with agile stroke, magical journeys, candles, ropes, esoteric invocations meanwhile spirals of XVII century verses are thrown.In the supporting team we can find a very long list, an army to workout this hour and a half of alchemy that is accompanied with exercises that Valdés Kuri uses to warm, train, submerge his actors in this mystical, magical, alchemic trip. The art of trivium and cuatrivium, the sacred geometry of Pythagorean philosophy appears, and the one who knows, understand the way they walk and what kind of strange forces they are unleashing at the stage.Very recommendable, pleasant, and full of high conceptual experimentation.

Benjamín Bernal
El Día, México City, 28/jul/2014


Highlights the power of the group and the undoubted ability of its director. It is a theater that claimed the basic tool of this language, that is, the actor in all its power and nudity. Scenery devices are not necessary. An empty space of an open theater, a named-itself theater through energy, creativity and multiple skills. A body that occupies the space, creating it with extreme consistency. This means that is adept to rescue the baroque principles without illustrate it updating voice and shape without loosing the origin.The play becomes into a treaty subtly treated as if it was a Bosco’s picture (150 years after); plenty of little figures that you can read anecdotally as well as incarnate it in the transmutation principles. It is possible that this belongs to a proper interpretation –perhaps- but, at least, doubtful in the hands of a sinner-writer yes, but extremely catholic like our writer was. And, above all, so hard to read from that scenery without a little initiation… only that we consider the play just like that, even with an unprepared public lack of knowledge concerning this pathways both theological and scientist as well.Definitively, an adult theater play for adults that will define, which is the speech they prefer, in a splendid feast of theatrical maturity.

Bruno Bert
La Escuela del Espectador, México City, 23/julio/2014


To live is to dream: alchemic, dance and chant of certain habitants.A staging that amid dance, music and songs, pass by from the divine to the carnal; from understanding to delirium. A simple choreography precedes the show. Fourteen men tie motions over the stage. The dancing predicts what is coming from: a vertiginous play, away from the canons of representation required by the theatrical genre.A scenic proposal that gives fresh air to the classic text providing it by new dimensions. A play that, despite of being placed in a religious context and has some philosophical complexity, talks with any spectator and is closed to him: to the decisions that the individual takes every day.

Mayté Valencia
Frente, México City, 17/jul/2014


Once that you hear the “Auto sacramental” word you get nervous to tell the true: it will be bored? Will I understand it? Fortunately, besides the title (Life is a Dream) it is announced the director’s name, Claudio Valdés Kuri, one of the most versatile creators, interesting, proactive, innovative, and talented of the Mexican theater on the last decades; that is why the quality guarantee of the staging is almost predictable.Along with his company, Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes, Claudio has placed as one of the most prestigious, renowned, and awarded in the whole world Latin-American theater director; always producing impact and amazing with a never-failed talent and creativity. And these virtues are present plentifully, in Life is a Dream.In front of the amazed spectator’s eyes, parades personages as the Light, the Will, the Wisdom, or the fourth elements that lives in the superb –without exaggeration- performing work of 14 actors that surprises us because of their talent and versatility, since they does not only act, but sing, dance and play musical instruments with accuracy and precision that is to clap. Once again, Valdés Kuri wonders with a kind of lecture approaching at the XXI century spectator to a text written 500 years a go. Without loosing his original depth but with a visual, musical and sound language of today, the auto sacramental Life is a Dream is shown in all its magnificence and overwhelms the spectator, which can not feels himself but small in front of creation vastness and in front of the universe. Contemporary music, synthesizer, laser rays, jarocho tunes and dances from Veracruz are fused in a staging that is essential to see”.

Hugo Hernández
Milenio, México City, 10/jul/2014