Sunday, September 30, 2007

Early Soviet Gallery 5

The Margomax duo, magicians.
And with them is all for this Sunday gallery.

Early Soviet Gallery 4

A pre-communist Chinese circus company in the Soviet Russia.

Early Soviet Gallery 3

The great Vladimir Durov in one less-known, western-style of his multiple animal presentations.

Early Soviet Gallery 2

Sophia Marchess, a Russian mentalist from the early 30s. She rpobably kew the future, but today nobody seems know about the past about her.

Soviet Gallery 1

Gulym-Kadir Troupe

According my researchs, I believe that the Kadir troupe from Turkmenistan , in 1929, can be considered the first exemple of Soviet "production" act: with directors, coreographers, designers, coomposers, mixing in a unique thematic creation pantomime, acrobatics, animal training, etc. A sort of ancestor of Soleil-like shows.

Sunday Poster Gallery

Early Soviet Circus

We will try to devote each Sunday to a different unusual gallery.
Today is early Soviet circus posters. When one think to the soviet circus, officially established in 1922, one think to an uniformed, propagandistic style of act. In reality, thorough the '30, a great exotism, diversity and creativity was shown with a lot of influences.

Friday, September 28, 2007


If you look up to the left of the page, under the "profile", you will find the access to a new chamber of the site, called "links".
This is our new guide, that we hope useful for your peregrinations in the most bizarre cunicola of performing arts actuality and history.
It will meet some of your usual interest and will hopefully stimulate new curiosities.
It will be, of course, perpetually progressing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Death Defying Acts

Conjuring and the movies

In a recent article, Variety acutely remarks how “the recent success of The Illusionist and The prestige located an audience for costume dramas revolving around stage sleight-of-hand and gimmicky suspense narratives, rather than the usual drawing-room or court intrigue”. Now, the imagery of magic can feed the visuality of designers and the talent of writers, (as the great novelists behind the two recent pictures), but what if the gift of imagination is not the priority in following the new trend? This is what looks to be the new “Death Defying Acts”, a movie just presented at the Toronto Film Festival and soon in the worlwide theatres. It is a fiction around Houdini and a lady pretending psychic powers. But, always according Variety, “result is a brisk, well-produced pic that lacks depth; nor does it provide the fun of deliberate, flamboyant one-dimensionality. There's no real tension, nothing specific to root for”.

It seems that to find an exciting marriage between magic themes and movies, we have to go back to the 1930s and Tod Browning, who rooted admirably his stories and characters, his criminals and renegades, into the spirit, philosophy and psycology of magic and carninvals in all his immense depht and contrasts (we’ll be soon back on that).
What seems happen today, is an excuse at least for contemplation:”if pic offers little of substance”, states the same magazine, “its packaging can't be faulted: Lensing, production design and costuming are all very attractive”.

The movie trailer:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hirshfeld on Marceau

The secret of his art was the same of every great: the abstraction of reality and the gift of synthesis. For this reason, we wish to remember him with another master of those gifts, doing a sublime syntesis and astraction of Marceau himself.
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