Magic, from a distance
Illusionists and mentalists are casting their spell online. Here's a round-up of shows to stay spell-bound this weekend
From rabbits scuttling out of beaver hats to predicting phone passwords, the world of magic has evolved a lot over the years, but still evokes the same response: "How did that happen?"
And now, under the lockdown, while some magicians are turning their bedrooms into studios, others are focusing on interaction with viewers to keep the stage vibe alive. Magicians tell us how they're adapting to the digital platform and about their upcoming shows.
This writer remembers watching Ugesh Sarcar wowing audiences with street magic, escape acts, levitation and more while growing up. The magician, who shuttles between Mumbai and Bengaluru, later also took to mentalism with the show Your Mind is Mine, which he has now transformed into a digital experience. "The good part about the show going online is that it now becomes a two-way thing — there's an interaction, and hence it becomes an experience. It's always fun to perform live but this is the only option now," Sarcar tells us. Explaining what people can expect from the show, he says, "Imagine being able to move objects through your mind, experiencing odd sensations sitting miles away from me, and even bumping into celebrities."
On July 5, 5 pm
og on to www.insider.in
Cost Rs 499
Seventeen-year-old Arjun Kohli has been performing magic since he was 10. As a Gen Z magician, he probably took to social media much before his senior counterparts did, but it's only during the lockdown, that he has taken his act online. "When you're online, it becomes very important to keep the show interactive. So, during the show, Altering Realities, I will be talking to all the participants, playing with their decks of cards or things on their side of the screen, and messing with their minds," he shares, going on to give us a primer by asking us to imagine a friend's name in our heads and then guessing it within minutes. The Noida-based magician adds that connectivity can play spoilsport in helping read the body language of the audience, but that he has been practising to overcome it. Pointing to an improvisational element, he says, "How the show turns out will depend on the viewers and their immediate surroundings. For one hour, their realities will be altered."
On July 5, 7.30 pm
Log on to www.insider.in
Cost Rs 250
Sleight of hand
"When I was a kid, I used to shut myself in my room and perform tricks in front of the mirror. After over 12 years of doing it professionally, I'm back in the same room, all thanks to the lockdown," jokes Kolkata-based magician David when we ask him how it's been performing online. But the show must go on, and so, he transforms his room into a mini stage for digital gigs to keep the theatre of it alive. Apart from doing solo shows, he will be part of a one-of-a-kind virtual collaboration with three illusionists on Sunday. Titled Sleight Club, the show boasts of a line-up of four styles of magic. Improv artiste Assad Khan, who is bringing the act together with Rahmeen Charania, the other half of Bromantic Duo, shares that they love magic and like to use it as an element in their gigs.
"We thought, why not bring the best in the country together. Karan Chauhan is India's first comedian-illusionist who will add humour, while Shikhar Kamat will weave stories with mentalism and use your suggestions to explore the limitations of being locked," Khan elaborates, adding that Chirag Jethwaney will perform close-up magic which involves intricate sleight of hand and David will blend optical illusions and psychological tricks to create a grand experience.
On July 5, 7 pm
Log on to www.insider.in
Cost Rs 299
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