Beginner's Guide to El Gallo May 11, 2011

by Jessica

The Mexico City-based Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes has been seen across 5 continents at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues, including everything from Germany’s Hebbel am Ufer (also known as the home of OtB alums Rimini Protokoll) to the Lincoln Center in NYC.

El Gallo features a language that was created specifically for this performance. It is a mix of the languages spoken by all the performers, who hail from Japan, France, Iran and Mexico. Director Claudio Valdes Kuri commented in a Chicago preview that “it’s with meaning, not without meaning. Everything means something—it’s not gibberish. It has rules like any language.”

The company is led by director Claudio Valdes Kuri, a much lauded director who has been working in the arts since he was 11 years old. He’s been recognized as one of the top 300 most influential leaders in all of Mexico.

Claudio and the company help run an artist residency, ECOCENTRO DE CIERTOS HABITANTES, to help promote cultural exchange and the development of new works.

British composer Paul Barker joined the Habitantes team specifically for El Gallo. His score, which has our production team swooning, is an original creation that is embedded with a series of little surprises. Read more about his work and listen to some of his music at