Enrique Balleste, Mexican theatre director, died at 68

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Enrique Balleste, born in Mexico City, on October 10, 1946 and died September 19, 2015.

Enrique was a Mexican actor, author, composer and theatrical producer.

Noted for being promoter in the 60s and 70s of the teatro independiente (independent theater) movement in his country, and formed several generations of actors and actresses.

Also founder of the Centro Libre de Experimentación Teatral y Artística (Free Center of Theater and Artistic Experimentation) or CLETA with Luis and Enrique Cisneros Lujan, Angel Álvarez Quiñones, Claudio Obregón and Luisa Huerta among others, and the theater company “Zumbón”.

Enrique was son of Spanish exiles that moved to Mexico after Spanish Civil War. He studied Spanish literature and theater at the UNAM Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.

He actively participated in the student movement of 1968.

His contemporary Luis de Tavira called Enrique “the playwright of 68, because its trajectory as modern minstrel summarized the libertarian spirit that erupted in that axial year”.

In 1969 he released his first work Life and Works of Dalomismo (Vida y obra de Dalomismo, in Spanish, a wordplay using the expression “da lo mismo” or “whatever” in English) which was awarded with the Premio Celestino Gorostiza prize.

Since that time composed folk protest songs which was famous into social movements as Soy Campesino (I’m A Peasant) and Jugar a la vida (Play To Life) which was popularized by Amparo Ochoa.

With “Zumbón” theatre company by 1984 Enrique toured Mexico with Por que el sapo no puede correr?, a theater piecebased in Popol Vuh.

In 1985 he achieved the first financiation to an independent theatrical group by UNAM and the Mexican Social Security Institute to his piece Los Flores Guerra, a social critique situated in student movement of 1968 and released in Teatro Legaria of Mexico City at the end of 1985.

Enrique Balleste died at age 68 on September 19, 2015.

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