JADOO Street Magic From India in Melbourne on 25th Oct 2016


Join the Australia India Institute and the Festival of India in welcoming three of India’s renowned street magicians in a one of a kind performance. This hybrid public lecture and performance event will give you insight into the background and history of Indian street magic and it evolution over time. Following a short introduction you will be treated to a 30min magic performance which will be followed by a question and answer session.

Rahman Shah is a street magician who brings alive the ancient tradition of ‘majak’ (magic) from India which used to involve a travelling group of artists and performers interacting with audiences and creating a bond of mythology and culture in their wake. Rahman, who performs along with his two aides, has a repertoire of tricks involving interactive and participatory magic which are immensely popular.

Not only has Rahman performed at Dubai, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Turkmenistan, he has also featured in an inspiring documentary “Tomorrow We Disappear” on fading artistry and the tenacity of tradition by filmmakers Adam Weber and Jimmy Goldblum,

Introduction by John Zubrzycki

In May 1853, the first troupe of Indian jugglers arrived in Melbourne after a successful tour of Victoria’s Gold Fields. Newspapers described them as the ‘soothsayers of India’–their astonishing feats of sword swallowing, bullet catching, fire breathing and balancing were ‘impossible to explain’. Since then, magic has maintained its power to mystify and amaze. Conjurers and illusionists from India and Australia have entertained audiences, swapped secrets and taught each other tricks. Researcher and author John Zubrzycki will present the largely untold story of how magic left an indelible mark on the popular culture of both countries.

John Zubrzycki is a PhD candidate at the University of NSW researching historical links between Indian and Western stage magicians. He has worked in India as a foreign correspondent, diplomat, consultant and tour guide. He is the author of The Last Nizam: An Indian Prince in the Australian Outback, which was a best-seller in Australia and India where it is still in print.  His latest book The Mysterious Mr Jacob: Diamond Merchant, Magician and Spy was named one of the best books on India in 2012 by The Wall Street Journal. He has a degree in South Asian history and Hindi from the Australian National University, and until 2013 was deputy foreign editor at The Australian newspaper in Sydney. In May 2016 he was the first Incoming Leaders Fellow at the Australia India Institute in New Delhi.


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