For centuries, the art of illusion has been practiced around the world. Regardless of the fact that there is a mechanism that makes each trick work, audiences flock to watch great magicians, willing themselves to believe that there is true magic behind each miraculous illusion.
While magic is a hobby for many, there is a select group of practitioners who have devoted their lives to perfecting their tricks.
Next week, several of these international celebrities will make their way to Israel for the Magicians’ Festival. Hosted by the Israel Magicians’ Association (IMA), the festival will take place in Holon and will be open to audiences of all ages.
This event marks 20 years since the establishment of the Israel Magicians’ Association. For three decades, the organization has hosted a variety of events around the country for magicians and magic lovers. Bridging the gap between street performers and stage magicians, the IMA is a pool of entertainers unlike any other in the field. This festival marks the first of its kind for the IMA, bringing in an eclectic and impressive list of local and international performers.
Over two days of activities, an array of magical skills will be on display, from card tricks to mentalism (the art of extrasensory perception). The best of Israel’s illusionists, such as Nimrod Harel and Amir Lustig, will present their latest tricks alongside South Korea’s finest wizard, Yu Ho Jin, and David Copperfield consultant Andrew Wayne.
The festival will be divided into three parts: the international show, the allaudience show for the entire family and a late-night cabaret.
Participating in the first part is one of the world’s most well-known card manipulators, Yu Ho Jin. The winner many prestigious awards for prestidigitation, Yu Ho Jin’s smooth style can inspire even the most skeptical viewer. Japanese artist Shoot Ogawa will also perform in this part of the evening. Ogawa’s most famous tricks include Ninja Rings and Muscle Pass. He has appeared on US television many times and is credited with bringing a number of innovative illusions to the magical community.
Europe’s most renowned mentalist, Jan Bardi, will also perform in the international program. Bardi’s work, otherwise known as PsychoStunts, has taken audiences by storm. For those who love crystal balls and eerily on-point predictions, Bardi’s show is sure to be a winner.
Beyond the expected bunnies in hats and seemingly endless streams of scarves, the festival boasts a few unusual types of performances. For one, Dana and Daniel will exhibit Quick Change, the art of swift costume changes, in a quirky and entertaining show. And French-Israeli artist Le Mime Daniel will give the audience a taste of virtuoso pantomime.
The all-audience section of the festival will feature famed American magician Doug Scheer. Known to twist a balloon into a giraffe one moment and pull a bird out of his sleeve the next, Scheer has perfected his skills over two decades of school performances. His engagements have included a performance at the White House, and he is the recipient of countless awards.
The Late Night Show is an adult magic show that will take place in the intimate environs of the Holon Theater’s smaller hall.
Audience participation will be a key element in this production, so be prepared to get up out of your seat.
The Magicians’ Festival coincides with a noted rise in magical activities in Israel. In the coming months, two new television programs that feature local magicians will be aired.
Says Dalia Peled, director of the Israeli Magicians’ Association, “It looks like 2012 will be a magical year for Israel.”
The Magicians’ Festival takes place on May 2 and 3 at the Holon Theater. For more information, visit www.magic2012.co.il.