Author Archives: jculpepper

Una Bennett’s Magic Touch: Aerial Rope Manipulation

MAGGOT GROOVIN’ from Una Bennett on Vimeo. Una Bennett’s act is full of surprises, personality and rockin’ rope manipulation. About two years ago, Una asked me to teach her rope magic (the traditional kind with a small rope) and explore ways to adapt magician-like manipulation techniques to her tool: that fat ‘ol corde lisse in […]

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Teaching Magic at the McCord’s Camp ABRACADABRA

It’s not the magician who teaches the children. It’s the children who teach the magician. I had a great time working with the McCord Museum’s education team to teach over 100 different mini-Montrealers how to perform magic onstage this summer as part of their ABRACADABRA camps.* This series of week-long summer camps was inspired by the ILLUSIONS exhibition. The exhibition contains beautiful […]

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Magic Broadcast Interview with Circus Artist Mick Holsbeke

I recently interviewed National Circus School graduate and clown extraordinaire Mick Holsbeke about learning Yann Frisch’s award-winning FISM act “Baltass.” Mick is performing magic in the “magie nouvelle” show Rêveurs définitifs, which you can see at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal until July 29. You can listen to the interview by visiting or by clicking on the photo […]

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Cirque Global review in new issue of TRIC

  I just received the newest issue of Theatre Research in Canada (TRIC!) and am excited to see my review of Cirque Global in print. It’s fun to be published beside Ars Mechanica co-founder Sasha Kovacs and above a review of friend and colleague David Fancy’s creative commons projet Diversities in Actor Training. Many thanks to Kim Solga, Michelle […]

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Rêveurs Définitifs in Montreal: A Surrealistic Magic Show

  Great magic gives its spectators the experience of dreaming even though they’re awake. Rêveurs Définitifs, a “magie nouvelle” show playing in Montreal until July 30, achieves this. The show is a surrealistic experience that both magicians and the general public should catch before it leaves town. Cie 14:20, directed by Raphaël Navarro and Clément Debailleul, is a […]

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“La grande fragilité des apparences”

Thibaut Rioult writes about the fragility of appearances in this article. Merci, Thibault. Quelle belle phrase:

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This American Life on Magic

This American Life has been my favorite radio show for a long time. Their latest episode is on magic. I think this is the universe’s way of wishing me an extra special 4th of July:  

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Aura is phenomenal. This is a must-see, immersive light and sound show at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. The venue is an already-exquisite, 19th-century church. The spectacle of state-of-the art projection mapping created by The Moment Factory to animate the basilica’s interior propels its spectators into a special state of ecstasy. The show is a fascinating example of […]

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Enchantment — #ThrowbackThursday

So many projects happened so quickly this winter that I haven’t had time to properly blog about them. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be catching up by posting articles with the tag #ThrowbackThursday to share some special moments. What is enchantment? According to the Oxford English Dictionary it’s “the action or process of enchanting, … of employing […]

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A Magic Lantern Show — Before Cinema at McGill’s Moyse Hall Theatre

I’d been waiting for ten years to see a real magic lantern performance. Last night, thanks to the organizers of Montreal’s Cinema in the Eye of the Collector conference, I got my wish. Here is Deborah Borton with the British, double-projecting magic lantern from the 1890s that they used to entertain us for 90-minutes: The two lenses […]

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