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The New York Times/ Theater Review/ When Puppets Outshine Real-Life Actors
By D.J.R. Bruckner/ January 16, 2002
" ''The Alamo Piece'' ... Mr. Aguilar is a transcendent Tijuanita, a hairy voluptuary who looks not out of place on a divan but can expand to cosmic size when the gringo lusts after her. Mr. Aguilar also plays both of her brothers, one of them a dope runner. But it is when he activates the puppet of one brother that you suddenly realize that the manipulated object is the most living character on stage...
''The Alamo Piece,'' ...was really a demonstration
that in the space occupied by Sigfrido Aguilar and Jim Calder the laws
of physics don't apply... In a word, Mr. Aguilar and Mr. Calder are doing
what they always do: exploring the limits of illusion and seeking ways
to extend those limits."
The New York Times/ Theater in Review/ "SANCHO & DON"/ May 18, 1994
D. J. R. Bruckner
It was my great, good fortune to cross paths with Sigfrido Aguilar in the autumn of 1971. I was a student at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and he was one of my instructors. I was 20 years old; he was, and is, ageless. His official class title was “Pantomime”, but he taught us so much more than that esoteric art.
He taught that the language of clowns is Mime, and that the instrument for that ‘voice’ is our body. He gave us all a new perspective on how to perform in the vast arenas that the huge, three-ring circus required. He showed us that bigger isn’t always better, but that clarity of movement, of ideas and story were crucial. He taught us how to speak volumes without ever uttering a word.
After the school’s graduation, I was awarded a one-year performance contract with ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’. As exciting as that experience was, I knew I was still lacking all of the necessary performance tools to be better than just good. I kept a written correspondence with Sigfrido during that season on the road, and even though I was offered another contract for Ringling in 1973, I decided to respectfully decline and travel instead to Patzcuaro, Michoican in Mexico. Sigfrido had invited me to be one of 6 students at his relatively new school, Estudio Busqueda de Pantomima.
The following 6 months were some of the most challenging, stimulating and creative I have ever known. Sigfrido gently pushed us to be better than we thought we could be. He encouraged us to focus on what we, as individual artists, did best. He motivated us to bring new performance pieces to class each week. He insisted that we keep our work authentic, genuine and always anchored to the truth.
Now, 37 years after first meeting this amazing teacher, writer, performer and artist, I still carry his influence in my work and in my life. I will attach my CV, but after my time with Sigfrido, I was propelled into a whirlwind career that has included being the Goodwill Ambassador for Ringling Bros. Circus; 10 years as Dean of the Clown College, and eventually director of Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey Circus. There was also a 7 year run as a Children’s Television Host, for which I received 5 Emmy Awards; writing & directing 2 plays for the Goodman School of Drama; creating, producing & performing a critically acclaimed one-man clown show; spending 7 years as a Creative Consultant & Director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; and currently in my third year as co-creator and director of the Big Apple Circus based in New York City. All of this has been built on the foundation of the lessons I learned from Sigfrido Aguilar.
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Sigfrido gave me the most precious gift of all ~ the confidence to believe in my dreams and myself.
Winnipeg Free Press / Festival of Contemporary Mime / by Reg Skene
Winnipeg, Canada / Gas Station Theatre / June 6, 1985
"Considerably more vital and original is the piece -"OCUMICHO"- presented by Mexico’s Comediantes Pantomima-Teatro, under the direction of Sigfrido Aguilar.
Unlike most of the participants in this festival,
Aguilar has been little influenced by the dedicated abstractions of Etienne
Decroux. He and his company create sharply physical images, as startlingly
life-like as those in a nightmare, and, at times, as terrifying...The
world created by Aguilar’s images is surrealistic, but it has its
own logic, its own unity and its own strong rhythmic patterns. This is
mime work of real emotional power."
oobr (THE OFF-OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW)/ "The Wild" /by John Michael Koroly
"Sigfrido Aguilar, as Noah, performed
beautifully an otherworldly sense of movement, implying he was foreign
not just to the castaway's culture, but to the corporeal realm as well."
unomásuno / EL LIBRE VUELO DE LA FANTASIA / Patricia Cardona
Ciudad de México / 21 de junio de 1983
" La Pantomima-Teatro de Sigfrido Aguilar
está anclada en la tierra, como lo están las danzas orientales.
... Pierde contacto con la inmediatez y se convierte en un gesto atemporal,
significativo universalmente. Es posible que en Sigfrido Aguilar esto
ocurra porque por sus venas corre la cultura oriental, la actitud cósmica,
totalizadora de lo indígena, que responde a la lógica interna
de los impulsos orgánicos. ... "Lo Mexicano en la Calaca"
... No cabe duda de que el espectáculo integral de la fisicalidad
de Sigfrido Aguilar ofrece la posibilidad de explorar, para descubrir,
un gesto autónomo, ajeno a las influencias culturales extranjeras.
Es un teatro donde cabe el libre vuelo de la fantasía, donde los
límites serían exclusivamente los de la propia imaginación."
El Día / TRAS BUSQUEDA, UNA REALIDAD:
COMEDIANTES PANTOMIMA-TEATRO / Raquel
Monterrey, Nuevo León. México / Noviembre de 1982
a.m. / 7 de diciembre de 1978 / Dr. Louis H. Campbell / Guanajuato, Guanajuato.
James Donlon, Director of Movement
Professional Actor Training Program.
Department of Dramatic Art, University
of California, Santa Barbara - USA.
"I consider Sigfrido Aguilar to be one of the most important artists not only in Mexico but on the international level in the field of movement theatre. His work as a master teacher and director is noted throughout North America and elsewhere in the world. Mr. Aguilar has influenced generations of Mexican and American performers and teachers since the early 1970’s. His work is visionary, socially constructive, and culturally elevating. The internationally recognized Estudio Busqueda de Pantomima-Teatro A.C. is vitally important to the professional education of Mexican artists."
"México, D.F. julio 25 de 1979.
Sigfrido Aguilar, director del
Estudio Búsqueda de Pantomima-Teatro A.C.
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Tenemos antecedentes de la brillante labor que viene
desarrollando ese Estudio
Alejandro Bichir, Jefe del Departamento de Teatro Foráneo.
"Sigfrido Aguilar’s Mime-Clown Theatre Workshop from May 30 - June 30, 1989.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do an in-depth study of creating clown-theatre with one of the master teachers of the twentieth century... Five full weeks of classes and rehearsals that will culminate into a fully produced ensemble performance."
"Sigfrido Aguilar is a disarmingly quiet person who operates with modesty and persistence. In Sigfrido, I find a man of artistic sensitivity. He has personal integrity, tempered with a delightful sense of humor... Mr. Aguilar has been a valuable addition to the North Carolina School of the Arts. I commend his work to you."
School of Drama.
"Sigfrido y su grupo del Estudio Búsqueda de Pantomima-Teatro A.C. han recobrado la tradición de la pantomima y dentro de esta han innovado técnicas contemporáneas con las cuales presentan trabajos de calidad."
Departamento de Actividades Teatrales de la UNAM (1982)
"Sigfrido Aguilar more than lived up to his very impressive credentials and entirely fulfilled the faculty’s expectations. He is a superb teacher of movement theatre whose own artistry, coupled with his accomplished teaching technique, inspired wonderful work in our students. Their growth in technique and imagination was very evident in their performance work, both in the class presentations Sr. Aguilar devised and in departmental shows. Student evaluations of his work bore out what was already evident in the results: that he is an accomplished, motivating teacher."
Department of Dramatic Art, University of California, Santa Barbara.
"What a revelation, then, was "OCUMICHO"
in its conciseness, its essential
MIME JOURNAL, Pomona College Theater Department for
The Claremont Colleges - USA, november 1985