XAJOJ TUN RABINAL ACHI was the result of a rich artistic collaboration between Ondinnok and El Baile Danza Rabinal Achi, a Mayan troupe from Guatemala and the keeper of the Rabinal achi. Don Jose Leon Coloch Garniga and his family are the last of a long line of Mayan families who for generations have protected and handed on this great theatrical ritual as well as its codes of performance. Initiated in January 2007 by a visit from Catherine Joncas and Yves Sioui Durand to the village of San Pablo Rabinal in Guatemala, this artistic collaboration saw its culmination three years later on the stage of Montreal’s eXcentris.


This story tells of the capture, trial and execution of a rebel warrior, Kaweq Kiché, who betrayed the social order. Around him is the court of Lord Job Toj, Queen Ixoc Ahau, the Princess Mother of Quetzal and the warrior of Rabinal. In XAJOJ TUN RABINAL ACHI there are also two fragments of two other great pre-Columbian texts saved from destruction: the Popol vuh, a text of the mythology and history of the Mayan migrations; and the Chilam Balam de Chumayel, a prophesy calendar. These three texts are among the greatest treasures of Amerindian literature.

Performance Dates

2010    June 18 to 27 – Montreal, eXcentris

The Team

Director: Yves Sioui Durand

Choreographer: Patricia Iraola

Actors: Charles Bender, Marco Collin, Nicoletta Dolce, Yves Sioui Durand, Hélène Ducharme, Patricia Iraola, Catherine Joncas, Lara Kramer, Mireya Bayancela Ordonez, Rodrigo Ramis & Leticia Vera with the special participation of Jose Leon Coloch Garniga & Jose Manuel Coloch Xolop from Guatemala

Set Designer: Jonas Veroff Bouchard

Costume Designer: Linda Brunelle

Sound Designer: Nicolas Grou

Mask Designer: Claude Rodrigue

Lighting Designer: Guy Simard

Headdress Designer: Lyne Beaulieu

Wardrobe Assistance: Chantal Bachand, Julie Sauriol, Mathieu Audy, Christine Neuss & Mireille Tremblay

Drum Designer: Norbert Roy

Scenic Painter: Dasha Valakhanovitch

Technical Director and Lighting Operator: Geoff Levine

Stage Manager: Audrey Gaudet

Photographer: Martine Doyon


Producers: Ondinnok in coproduction with the Montreal First Peoples’ Festival