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October 30, 2011

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Magicians cast spells in contest

A silly white goose will be turned into a young woman in a spectacular show during the 7th Shanghai International Magic Festival and competition. And that's just one of the acts.

Celebrated conjurers and magical new talent from around the world will cast spells from Thursday through Sunday at the Shanghai International Gymnastics Center.

Fourteen noted magicians from around the world will perform spectacular stage magic as well as close-up magic. The critically acclaimed wizards are from America, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Italy and Japan.

On Sunday a ceremony will honor top magicians.

The festival hosted every two years is part of the 13th Shanghai International Arts Festival and is considered one of the highest-level magician competitions and showcases in Asia.

"We hope to provide a platform for young emerging talents," says Yu Yigang, an organizer.

In the past the festival has showcased Chinese conjurers such as Lu Chen from Taiwan and Mai Jie from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

Most performances will be fresh to local audiences. Canadian magician Connie Boyd, considered one of the world's premier female conjurers, presents breathtakingly beautiful magic with her ever-changing body shapes in a rising crystal bubble. Her show is expected to be romantic, elegant and humorous.

Ed Alonzo, a renowned master from the United States, will turn a white goose into a young woman in fantasy atmosphere. He has been applauded and cheered for his playful magic on concert tours with Britney Spears and the late Michael Jackson.

Spanish conjuror Xavier Tapias will present his new program "Robot," using ordinary discards, such as paper bags, bottles and cans, to make a "robot" that walks and dances to music.

French magician Jean Garin, who took up the career of magic more than 30 years ago, will present a comic, surprising and rhythmical show titled "Magic Screen."

During the act he will be divided into halves, and stretch out, go out of a screen and play with himself but by being himself next to him inside the screen.

Award-winning Chinese magician Zhang Guozhou from Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, will perform close-up magic of poker and coins. He is also adept at bringing milk tea, coffee and cookies onto an empty table.

Other performers include Alberto Giorgi, Parenthese Cubique and Nestor Hato who present mysterious feats that are difficult to figure out.

The festival will feature an international seminar on trends in magic, props and sets, and offer a training course for China's young magicians. Some young magicians will have a chance to sign contracts with local professional troupes.

The 7th Shanghai International Magic Festival and Competition

Date: November 3-6, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai International Gymnastics Center, 777 Wuyi Rd

Tickets: 100-800 yuan

Tel: 962-388


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