Care for some Black magic?

Russian wizard Alex Black conjures up an entertaining show for Bengaluru’s magic lovers that went beyond mere tricks of the trade

He can charm the crowd with a spell, conjure umbrellas from thin air, make things disappear and also dances a fine jig. Magician, illusionist and dancer Alex Black from Russia is a master of all trades. Combining choreography with 3D mapping magic, acrobatics and juggling with comedy and illusions, the magician brings a blend of entertainment in his shows.

Touring the country for the first time with a full-fledged team, Black performed to packed audiences at Sir KP Puttanna Chetty Town Hall over the weekend after which he took time off for a chat with MetroPlus.

Black shows a lot of respect for India and its magical culture. “I do my own version of the rope trick that originated here in India. It is popular abroad. Of course, the original Indian rope magicians used big ropes. Maybe next time I’ll try to use a rope too. India is a great country for magic. People here love it and even fellow magicians from here have seen us and appreciated what we do.”

Care for some Black magic?

Black is quick to point out that magic is not like it used to be. Agreeing that pulling a rabbit out of a hat is now child’s play, he says: “Magicians now have to work harder to impress their audience. It’s also important to keep yourself updated on new technology and constantly innovate. Sometimes it is hard to do new things. For me, because this is my life, it comes like second nature. From the time I wake up till I sleep, I’m always trying to create something new magically. I wake up in the morning and think about magic and go to sleep doing the same.”

Black goes on to say that just doing magic is not enough anymore. “Entertainment is the key and you need to bring the full package when you are on stage. If you are not a good performer or you don’t connect with your audience, it can never be a good show. Dance works for me. It is my way of being different.”

He leans in and shares a little secret about his dance act: “Today, just before the show, I think I broke my little toe while practising a stunt. I have it bandaged tight. It hurts, but the show must go on. When you are on stage, what has to happen has to happen.” He continues on how dance became his passion: “I graduated from the Circus University in Saratov, Russia many years ago. That is where we learnt all disciplines from dancing to juggling. That is where dance clicked for me. I’m also a big Michael Jackson fan. He is my inspiration and that is why I do the moonwalk with the iPhone in one of my tricks.”

Care for some Black magic?

The 29-year-old says: “When I finished school, my father wanted me to study law since he was a lawyer. However, my calling was magic. I was already doing card tricks and I took my passion to the Circus University. After that, there was no turning back. I got in and put in a lot of hard work for the four-and-a-half years of training there. Soon after, I started my own show that took me across Russia for three years. Then, we took the show abroad, including the US, Germany, Dubai and China. Now I’m happy to be here in India.”

The conjurer points out that he would love to return to India with new tricks. “I’m testing the ground here with a balance of serious stuff and comedy. The blend between entertaining and thought-provoking acts is what makes a show successful. In fact, almost all of our routines have a concept. One thing I strongly propagate is the need for peace and not war.”

Care for some Black magic?

Going back to the marriage of technology and magic, Black says he loves to mix and match. “If you are a street magician, you’ll do only street magic. But I try to do everything from street performances to TV shows and close-up sleight-of-hand to dramatic big escapes. It is important for science and magic to work hand-in-hand. One cannot do without the other.”

He adds: “It’s a shame when people open up our secrets. If it’s not your idea, you shouldn’t reveal it. For us this is our livelihood. They are trying to kill the beauty of magic. This, however, pushes us to innovate all the time. It is challenging and we have to change the programme every time someone discloses a secret.”

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:36:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/care-for-some-black-magic/article24163464.ece

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