Performing art

Life is full of art. When we think of art, the easiest is painting, maybe the Van Gogh Sunflowers or Mona Lisa. Of course, as we know, art is not confined to this. Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts. To be specific, from material world to inner world, human creates different artworks to meet their spiritual aesthetic needs. In all ages, art is an important and common form of culture. Human creates various sorts of art based on their understanding of the world. Therefore, we can see graceful dancing, various sculpture and painting which are different in countries in this world. In my view, art is full of miracles and creativity. I learned that from magic.  

Basically, magic, a performing art which is based on giving audience a surprising experience. In addition to vision and hearing, magic is also performed through some elements like Psychology, chemistry, math and physics. It can also be a craft or puzzle, depending on where you are viewing it from. Magic is a branch of theater, the performers use their form of self-expression to create wonder or other emotions in their audience.

Magic performance comes from the thought of real magic. Like other sorts of art else, the history of magic started long ago. Around 1823, a British adventurer, Henry Westcar portrayed a magician named Dedi performed an animal decapitation trick for the king. Dedi magically replaced several heads and the animal is still live without head. Finally, he made heads back and the animals looks the same as before. Therefore, for the following thousand years, magic had heavy links to the dark art like occult and witchcraft. All people considered it the work of devil. Instead of being the form of entertainment that is once was, it became a rare spectacle. Although the magicians exposed many secrets of magic, they were painted as charlatans and tricksters. By the nineteenth century, with the rise of theaters, magic performers found their stage and brought magic into theater. That was the time magic had links to performing art and the word ‘magician’ appeared. Some magicians had even become well-known celebrities. As the transition of magic, more famous magicians entered people’s vision. Harry Houdini, the most famous magician in 20th century, is good at various escape tricks. He first revealed that magic is the performance that using skills to show the audience superpowers. Later, the interest in magic of human began to increase once more. There was a group of magicians wanted to organize a magic club. They called it magic circle. So far, magic had become a popular entertainment performance in the world.

There is a controversial topic that whether magic counts as art. First, we should think about the question ‘what do artists do?’ You might say they paint pictures. This is true but not all artists paint. Art is the imitation of what exists or what might exist in circumstances of imagined by artists. It could be actual or fictitious. The definition of art is complex, it depends on where you appreciate from. In magic, people might think that magic is just one trick. However, you can’t really see it in performance. It can still complete something impossible and shock the audience, just like you can enjoy the novel even it’s fictitious. A famous magician, David Copperfield once performed a well-known trick–making the statue of liberty disappear. No one believe that until they saw the statue of liberty disappear from their eyes. The statue did not really disappear, even you know that, you still enjoy the moment of miracle and think about how to make it looks like really happened. Thus, it gives us a broad space of imagination. That’s the art of magic. This illusion also was meant to emphasize the importance of freedom and how easily it can be lost.

When I first contact magic, I saw the magician put some ordinary balls into a cup and counted each time. He put the third one into his pocket. What the strange is there were always three balls in that cup. I got great confused until I learned magic. There was another ball hid in his hand. There were four balls appear in the performance, an easy trick. However, the way of magic is full of frustration and loneliness. I have ever practiced poker tricks for a whole month. Before you finish and show your work, no one know about your hard-working process. You should be patient without hot head, just like carving a sculpture. However, when you see surprise through your audience’s eyes, that is the happiest time in your life.

People always want to create miracle during the life. Art is the reflection of that. In fact, magic is not superpower even with the best performance. The miracle exists in your mind if you believe it. It needs both magician and audience to create. Pursuing dreams and fantasies, that’s what magic means.

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