© Donna Gray

Juan Darién

Julie Taymor et Elliot Goldenthal

Ravishing! Marimbas and african musical instruments give way to japanese drums. The solemn beat of a gong punctuates the joyous trills of maya flutes and the deep tones of an aborigine didjeridu. The latin chants of the requiem are interrupted by animal cries, trumpet blasts and pagan melodies, while a stream of leafy images unfolds before our eyes: a jungle, a village, birds, serpents, a sparkling flight of white butterflies…


This is the enchanted world of Juan Darién, where teachers are three metres tall, skeletons dance brazenly and the walls of thatched huts collapse under the tropical rain. Steeped in folk ritual, the fable is a tale of the metamorphosis of a tiger cub orphaned when its mother dies who is taken in by a woman and changed into a young boy. After growing up with humans without suspecting his origins, he is soon confronted with his real identity. In a “carnival mass” full of shadows, puppets, sensuality and bengal lights, the human world suddenly comes face to face with mystery. Savagery and civilization meet, the living and the inanimate blur and merge.


Adapted by Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal Directed by Julie Taymor Music by Elliot Goldenthal