Indian Magicians Keeping it Real

Is This the “Nautch” Look?

The Deccan
Herald
reports this morning on several magicians trying to bring magic back
from the “Glamour” to “the traditional art that originated on India’s streets.”

The imagery of the mythological Indian Rope Trick provides a glimpse of the
mystery and simplicity sought. “The vision is almost celluloid in its
romanticism. The setting with its colorful trappings complete with a portly
maharaja and a bevy of nautch girls trailing behind, all ready to witness a
half-clad emaciated fakir throwing a rope to the sky.”

We have no idea what “nautch” means. We assume – because it sounds similar to
“nautical” – it must mean “girls who wear sailor costumes or female sailors.”
And though our mother often swam along side troop ships, we’ve never seen a
magician with female or male sailors on stage.

Magician K.S. Ramesh — known for his Bollywood appearances — wants to
invigorate the magic ranks and thus shake magicians from their comfortable
livings performing birthday party shows.

“One has to constantly innovate. Magic
is increasingly getting lost in the arc lights of big entertainment business.
[The talented magicians in India] are only doing routine stuff like birthday
parties and restaurants.” To get into the spotlight, the magicians need to think
outside the box, says Mr. Ramesh.

We assume here he means the Victory Carton Illusion or Sub Trunk. When we
performed the Victory Carton Illusion or the Sub Trunk, we were also very afraid
of intense spotlights ruining the illusion by casting shadows at the wrong time.
He may also be using the phrase as some sort of metaphor.

Mr. Ramesh is encouraging mall owners and promoters in Bangalore to employ
magicians round the clock to add to the entertainment value of a mall and also
provide employment opportunities for magicians.

He believes and we agree magic will survive only if it is presented as a live
show.

J.R. Shankar agrees with the need to stay true to our magic roots. “We need
to stick to our roots only then is there scope (sic?) to keep the magic of magic
alive.” Mr. Shankar and 14 of his family tour under the name “Gili Gili Magic.”
He believes working with one’s family is essential to keeping magic energized
and the performer in practice.

Mr. Shankar’s routine “Enlightenment through Entertainment” is singled out as
an example of the new magic:

Junior Shankar goes among the audience as if taking something from
their minds which appears as light. After having collected enough lights,
Shankar puts them all in a box. When he opens the box, he pulls out a cloth full
of bright lights. ‘Every human has something good in him,’ says Mr. Shankar,
adding “it is up us to take all this goodness to enrich our
lives.'”

It should be noted that this very routine was performed by our uncle in his
efforts to return to our roots in his now infamous “Back to the…

Is This the “Nautch” Look?

The Deccan
Herald
reports this morning on several magicians trying to bring magic back
from the “Glamour” to “the traditional art that originated on India’s streets.”

The imagery of the mythological Indian Rope Trick provides a glimpse of the
mystery and simplicity sought. “The vision is almost celluloid in its
romanticism. The setting with its colorful trappings complete with a portly
maharaja and a bevy of nautch girls trailing behind, all ready to witness a
half-clad emaciated fakir throwing a rope to the sky.”

We have no idea what “nautch” means. We assume – because it sounds similar to
“nautical” – it must mean “girls who wear sailor costumes or female sailors.”
And though our mother often swam along side troop ships, we’ve never seen a
magician with female or male sailors on stage.

Magician K.S. Ramesh — known for his Bollywood appearances — wants to
invigorate the magic ranks and thus shake magicians from their comfortable
livings performing birthday party shows.

“One has to constantly innovate. Magic
is increasingly getting lost in the arc lights of big entertainment business.
[The talented magicians in India] are only doing routine stuff like birthday
parties and restaurants.” To get into the spotlight, the magicians need to think
outside the box, says Mr. Ramesh.

We assume here he means the Victory Carton Illusion or Sub Trunk. When we
performed the Victory Carton Illusion or the Sub Trunk, we were also very afraid
of intense spotlights ruining the illusion by casting shadows at the wrong time.
He may also be using the phrase as some sort of metaphor.

Mr. Ramesh is encouraging mall owners and promoters in Bangalore to employ
magicians round the clock to add to the entertainment value of a mall and also
provide employment opportunities for magicians.

He believes and we agree magic will survive only if it is presented as a live
show.

J.R. Shankar agrees with the need to stay true to our magic roots. “We need
to stick to our roots only then is there scope (sic?) to keep the magic of magic
alive.” Mr. Shankar and 14 of his family tour under the name “Gili Gili Magic.”
He believes working with one’s family is essential to keeping magic energized
and the performer in practice.

Mr. Shankar’s routine “Enlightenment through Entertainment” is singled out as
an example of the new magic:

Junior Shankar goes among the audience as if taking something from
their minds which appears as light. After having collected enough lights,
Shankar puts them all in a box. When he opens the box, he pulls out a cloth full
of bright lights. ‘Every human has something good in him,’ says Mr. Shankar,
adding “it is up us to take all this goodness to enrich our
lives.'”

It should be noted that this very routine was performed by our uncle in his
efforts to return to our roots in his now infamous “Back to the Basics
Bamboozle” tour.

In an effort to make the effect even more authentic and less
“20th century,” he used candles instead of light bulbs. His performance inspired
many magicians to reconsider their craft and even more local communities to
insist on more stringent fire laws.

We applaud our Indian brothers for their rich tradition and desire to keep it
real.

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