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Rafael Tsitalashvili’s real magic10.01.2011 | 12:43
One doesn't have to be a Father Frost to work Christmas magic. One must be Rafael Tsitalashvili. For over half a century the magician and illusionist has been impressing people with his prestidigitation and inventive wit. With his wife Elena Weiman he raised an entire dynasty of performing magicians - Tamara, their daughter, Mikhail, a nephew and Lariko, a niece. All these young honored magic makers live in Moscow. But Rafael was born in Baku and became famous as a Tbilisi Philharmonic artist. The illusionist told GeorgiaTimes about his tricks that seem amazing even to David Copperfield and about Caucasus, his motherland.
- You have been working as a magician...
- ...for many years.
- You must have more work to do during the New Year holidays. Tell us about your plans for this fortnight. Where will you perform?
- I have lots of corporate performances to do as well as New Year concerts. This year I don't have my New Year show, as usual. Last year we staged the "Voyage into Mystery" in Culture Center of Railway Workers. This year I was very busy: we are preparing a new show, I collaborate with a number of theaters; we are working on various magic tricks. Presently I'm working with Dima Krymov, the art director at Vasilyev's theater in Sretenka street. We are staging a new play based on Platonov's works. I had many different stagings last year. Director Ivan Popovski, Peter Fomenko's disciple, made Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There in Peter Fomenko's theater. This is a stunning magic play with lots of tricks. Everyone who saw it call it a 3D play.
- Do you think people don't believe in magic anymore?
- Far from that. They want to believe in miracles. It is so essentially human for both children and adults... I have never met a person who would not want to see a miracle.
- Do you show tricks at home, at family celebrations?
- Have you ever been a Father Frost?
- No. I think a magician is the same Father Frost only in a different disguise. In terms of character I'm like Chaplin. So I never disguise myself as Father Frost.
- Your relatives know all your tricks by heart, don't they?
- Yes. But still I'm an inventor of magic, so I always try to create something new.
- What new tricks have you been showing recently?
- There are many magic effects in the new show: transformations, flying, levitations, disappearances. People adore my latest trick - magic teleportation. Elena, my partner, disappears suddenly from the stage, then she gets teleported to approximately 20 m and finds herself at the end of the hall, then she walks along the aisle back to the stage. The audience is shocked. The effect is completely new, a new trick. We invented it incidentally: we were performing for the Chinese scientists proud for having moved an object for a bit with the help of quantum teleportation. The object disappeared from the laboratory and ended up at a distance of 20-25 m.
- No tricks?
- No. As it turns out, this has become reality. When I read about it I thought: why don't we show real teleportation: not quantum, but real. Usually I present this story to the audience covering Elena with a blanket. The blanket falls to the floor and she's gone. People sitting in the audience turn their heads and see her among them.
- Mikhail, your nephew, told in one interview that once you surprised David Copperfield with some "ancient" ring-and-rope tricks. What is this?
- When David was in Russia he invited us to the backstage. I brought some of my tricks. I showed him two ropes and took them through the ring. And then in the middle of the rope the ring started to go up. David asked if he could check the ropes. I showed them. He was shocked. He knew a different secret: with a special rope and a special ring. Those rope and ring were most ordinary. The trick seemed absolutely new to him.
He was particularly impressed by a radio-set disappearing and then reappearing on а completely transparent table. For the first time I showed this trick in Magic Castle in Hollywood where we were performing as a family: Elena, our daughter Tamara and me. Tamara was showing tricks at the World Congress of Illusionists and became world champion in Quebec. Travelling in Canada and the States we came to Los Angeles. There is a marvelous magic castle there, a "mecca" for illusionists from all over the world. So as a present to the castle's museum, we left this trick with the disappearing and reappearing radio set. It has been number one trick of the past two years.
- You mean the trick can be shown only on your table?
- Have you made a new one for yourself?