In the world of magic, there are few performers more instantly recognizable than the “Maestro” Juan Tamariz.
With a top hat that is never quite able to contain wild unkempt hair, a crazy manic disposition, and an enchanted violin that plays at the successful completion of every trick, he is one of our era's most revered creators, performers and thinkers—most notably in the field of card magic. Along with co-hosts Pedro Reyes and Alaska (María Olvido Gara), Juan starred in a television series, Chan-tatachán, which ran in Spain from 1992 to 1993.
With separate sets for close-up, parlour and stage performances, the program was able to explore magic in all of its facets. In addition to his colourful and comic presence, Juan would also perform close-up magic with celebrity guests and engage them in long discussions on what magic was about. The show also featured stand-up comedy, juggling, variety acts and musical guests.
We have assembled over eighteen hours of performances and added them to The Screening Room. As with our other collections, The Magic Palace and Movie Magic: The Larry Thornton Collection, the collection is also searchable by performer and by trick. While several of the performances are in Spanish, there are also many silent acts to enjoy.
“This represents a remarkable historical record of notable magicians—some who are no longer with us, and many who are still well-known today—presenting their craft in front of a live audience. Even if, like me, your Spanish is inexistente there is still much to enjoy here. Great performances simply transcend the barrier that can be language. Twenty-five years on, Magicana is pleased to give this material the opportunity to astonish, entertain and inspire a whole new audience.”
—David Ben, Artistic Director
We are indebted to Juan Tamariz and Luis Piedrahita for making this footage available to us; to Adam Rubin for facilitating this project. As always, our thanks also goes to the Slaight Family Foundation for making The Screening Room possible. Thanks also to James Alan, who processed and indexed the videos. And special thanks to Rafael Benatar, Alfredo Marchese (“Alan”), and Jorge Blass for their additional research and kind assistance.