Sunday, April 3, 2011

Elephant vanish

While Eric and I were searching for magic in India in 2004, we happened upon Jadugaar Anand's stage show in Jaipur.  It was the only time I have ever seen an elephant vanish live in front of my eyes in one quick puff of smoke.  It was the most impressive large illusion I have ever seen. It used a method very different from the one Houdini had used to vanish an elephant in the Hippodrome in New York that is detailed in Steinmeyer's excellent book on the illusion. Even when you know how it's done, there is no illusion to top the vanish of a live pachyderm. The best part for me was that being India, where people accept that life is uncertain and can't sue each other for everything, the magician led the elephant up an aisle in the theater to the stage. That part worried me a bit as I have not yet read any Sanskrit manuals on elephant training. Luckily, no elephants were sighted on the most recent India with baby Anand, so no need to read them just yet. A friend's friend does have a family elephant so maybe I can borrow it at some point and perform the elephant vanish myself. Connecticut's own P. T. Barnum would be proud...

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