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As we quickly shuffled to the back of the auditorium to the background of gasps and awe, we knew we were in for something spectacular. While we thought our research was enough to know everything about Russian illusionist Alexander Magu’s tricks, the short 30-minute show proved us wrong. Starting with simple tricks involving a Rubik's Cube, he captured everyone’s attention all the way to the finale, where he used a voodoo doll to control a member of the audience. The show ended with claps, hoots and serious contemplation of whether magic really exists.
Movies like ‘The Illusionist’ and ‘Now You See Me’ have intrigued the curiosities of millions all over the globe. That’s the thing about the world of illusion, nothing is what it seems. With the internationally acclaimed illusionist in town, we couldn’t contain our excitement. In an interview with the OT team, Magu not only revealed the tricks of the trade but also shared his personal favourites.
While young Indian mentalists like Karan Singh and Ugesh Sarcar have managed to keep the art of magic alive in India, there’s still a long way to go. But Magu seems quite satisfied with the audience response in India. “Indians spectators are very open and the tricks are new to them. I know that there are some old school magicians here, but I haven’t heard of any modern magic. And that’s why maybe it is so interesting for me and for people to watch,” says Magu. When asked about the most difficult crowd, he was quick to say that it’s Russia. Well, we aren’t surprised. Maybe some Russian stereotypes are true after all. Given that this is his third time in the National Capital, Delhi seems to be one of his favourite cities to perform.
Magu has been an ardent participant in the art of street magic. In fact, he has his own show in Russia that involves tricks in front of a live audience on the road. His show challenges the limits of the human body and performs the impossible! “ My show about street magic displays the possibilities of what one can do with the human body. I partake in many stunts to prove my point. For example, I once lay in ice for four hours to show people how much one can push their body. Usually, it is considered to be impossible,” adds Magu.
A significant contributor to the Russian show, ‘Street Magic’, Alexander Magu plans to continue his exploration of the city. In fact, the latest episode of his show is expected to revolve around the tricks that the mentalist picked up in India. Magu further elaborates “Sometimes I get inspiration and ideas from places where I perform. For example, on this show, there will be a trick about India. It was an idea that came to me last year. It involves the map of India, in fact, the map of Delhi”. Needless to say, we can expect a spectacle.
Simplicity is key. Whether he is performing on a street or in a packed auditorium, Magu believes that the best of illusions are built without the show of hefty props. He says, “The most “impossible” and interesting magic tricks happen without any boxes, rabbits or doves. It happens in front of your eyes and does not need special props”.
Coming to where it all began, anyone would agree that pursuing a career in the art of magic and illusion is not for the faint-hearted. Having taken the unconventional path at a very early age, Magu, today has carved a niche for himself. With only books at his disposal, which had to be sourced with great difficulty, he says that aspiring illusionists today have a lot more going in their favour. Today, with unlimited access to the internet, artists only need to focus on consistency.
Breaking stereotypes one trick at a time, he states that communication is the key difference between old school magic and modern magic.
Renowned for his great sense of humour on stage, he says that he relies on his comedy to a great extent. So much so, that it has helped him get out of sticky situations, especially when his tricks don’t land the way they were planned. All set to perform at Upstage, Roseate House later in the month, the illusionist has over 1500 shows under his belt, making him one of the most sought after illusionists in recent times. We can hardly wait for the other tricks up his sleeve!
Alexander Magu will perform at Upstage, Roseate House from November 15 to 17, 2019.
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