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Russian magician Alex Black in Chennai to enthrall you

Magician Alex Black   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The first time we catch Alex Black on stage, he is on a bike.

He has just appeared out of thin air, much to the astonishment of the audience. He will soon introduce his team on stage, referring to them as “beautiful girls”, and change the colour of their costumes within a few seconds. Not once, not twice, but thrice. The gathered crowd, especially the children, applaud, wide-eyed.

It’s the effect that the Russian magician, in the city for a month, hoped to have. He is in Chennai after a tour to Tunisia — he has been sleep-deprived preparing for this new act (“I’ve lost eight kilos!”) — but he is very happy with the response.

“I love the people here; they are interactive, and fun to perform to,” says the 30-year-old magician-cum-illusionist, “Before I planned for this new show, I kept thinking: ‘What do Indians like?’ All my jokes and acts are tailor-made for Indians and the Chennai crowd.”

Magician Alex Black with assistants

Magician Alex Black with assistants   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Alex takes pride in being different — his magic show is not set in the traditional format, but one that is fun and colourful. A giant ball is passed on in the crowd and the person in its possession last gets to be a volunteer for a trick.

Interactivity is among the highlights of his show. “Yes, it is the part I really like,” he says with a smile, “I love having fun with the children on the show. Many of the jokes that happen there are impromptu.”

The other thing that Alex consciously does is indulge in a bit of dancing — he can moonwalk effortlessly. “It’s my style,” he says, “In India, some magicians are old-fashioned and stay at one place on the stage.”

Alex ensures that he does not commit that mistake in his shows — and has equipped himself to do so, educating himself in Circus University in Saratov (Russia) that teaches him not just the tricks but also equips him with the skills of being an all-round entertainer.

Among the most challenging tricks is the Houdini box — one in which Alex gets into a box and appears from the crowd in a matter of seconds.

“It requires a lot of practise and rehearsals. It required quite a few weeks of practice,” says Alex, whose inspiration is American magician David Copperfield.

One of the things that Alex keeps looking out for is how magicians across the globe are adapting to changing times. “It’s important to see what’s in trend,” he feels, “I also feel that for a magician to succeed, he needs personality. That’s what I keep working on, day in and day out.”

Alex Black’s show, an event by Priya Cultural, takes place today, 4pm and 7 pm. It’s on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday till June 2. All shows at Russian Cultural Centre, Kasturi Rangan Road. For passes, call 9962787772.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 4:06:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/events/russian-magician-alex-black-in-chennai-to-enthrall-you/article27104369.ece

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