Illusionist Sergey Korablev from the Russian city of Oryol says he can arrange a show of a higher level than the greatest illusionist of our time David Copperfield on condition that he is provided with a sufficient sum of money. The Russian man was offered to organize his show in Las Vegas.
On Monday, Sergey Korablev got an email and a plane ticket to the American capital of entertainment from his colleague, famous producer Jonathan Pendragon. The latter promises to provide financing to Korablev’s performance, all necessary equipment, show organization and says that the house will be always full. In his words, Las Vegas needs new fresh ideas that are expected to come with the Russian magician.
Sergey Korablev is happy to get this proposal and enthusiastic about the idea to leave for negotiations in the USA in early March. Visit of the Russian “Copperfield” to the USA may have two consequences: he will be either enticed to the USA, or he will resist the temptation to leave Russia and negotiate sponsoring of his show in the homeland. Then, his new works will be available not only for the USA, but also for Russia. It is highly likely that Sergey Korablev will stand up for Russia’s interests as he is a patriot.
Unlike any other illusionists, he is not trying to keep majority of his tricks secret: a part of the show’s audience participates in the tricks and knows all secrets. The illusionist doesn’t conceal the secrets of his show deliberately: “How many people will learn secrets? But all the same, there will be much talk about my tricks. People will say: “I know what Korablev has invented, I saw it!” The problem is that we cannot afford too expensive performances. That is why we must invent more and more of new shows. I am an honest trickster. Russian poverty is a double-edged weapon. In this respect, Russian illusionists have advantages over the western ones. Today many of Russian illusionists aim at leaving for foreign countries. But I will stay here, it is my country and it is my duty to develop it.”
Sergey Korablev says that the only condition for Russian illusionists to leave America behind is to have a professional theatre of tricks. Indeed, the Russian illusionist managed to repeat one of Copperfield’s most expensive and complicated trick – chopping of a body with a guillotine – in the Oryol entertainment center; he did it only with the simplest props and with a team of 12 people. In the words of Sergey Korablev, the trick is just a part of a grand magician show called “Dasha” the work on which is in full swing. The show will consist of several unique tricks: going through a mirror, disappearance and flight of a man, passing through a wall. Audience in his native city, Oryol, will be the first to watch Korablev’s performance. What is more, the Russian illusionist promises that he will allow spectators to participate in his tricks and says that anyone of them will have a chance not only to soar in the air, but also to be beheaded or to suddenly disappear.
Russian audience has already understood that the illusionist can easily leave David Copperfield behind. Sergey Korablev offered to repeat Copperfield’s trick as a result of which a statue will disappear. Certainly, it is not America’s Statue of Liberty, but a monument to Vladimir Lenin in Lenin Square in Oryol.
Sergey Korablev already demonstrated a trick that resulted in disappearance of a car in the Russian city of Tyumen. The effect of the trick was stunning! The illusionist demonstrates a video tape of the trick: there is a car in a cage, then the cage is veiled, it comes asunder and the car disappears!
The magician says that he can make disappear not only the Statue of Liberty, but also Russia’s Mausoleum and even the Kremlin. It is actually very important that a technical solution of the trick has been found. Sergey says that he can walk through the Kremlin walls. However, he says political problems arise in connection with the trick. Authorities forbade to perform tricks with the Kremlin.
Sergey Korablev is a self-taught man, he started learning trick in the first grade of the school; he learnt many of his tricks from periodical magazines specializing in science and technologies. The illusionist who is currently gaining popularity even in Japan and China started performing his first tricks in the entertainment house of the Oryol steel-rolling mill. Sergey repeated “the laws of antigravitation” for the first time there. Some of Korablev’s props were done at the mill.
Now Sergey is working together with his wife and two children, they are partners of the show. The producer center is called “Illusion.” The wife soars above the stage, the daughter cuts herself up and the son is responsible for illumination, sound and other technique. They also make suits for performances themselves.
The Russian magician says that any performance is 70% dependent upon the ideas, only the rest 30% are the talent of an artist, the props, etc.
As for his rivalry with David Copperfield, Sergey says that he performs the same tricks but for less money. He adds that it is quite a different thing to watch videotaped performances of David Copperfield and to see his live performance on the stage. The matter is that David Copperfield has a studio of his own, and operators shoot performances so that they were enveloped with a mystique aura. When the American illusionist came to Moscow, the audience was very far from the stage and the people were not allowed to shoot. Sergey says that he watched the performance and guessed all of his tricks. In other words, the magic of Copperfield’s tricks is 80% due to special shooting. His own performances are different: the illusionist throws balls to the audience and those who catch them may participate in the show. And we cut them up, burn their heads and put them under a guillotine. None of the Russian illusionists ever established closer contacts with the audience! When Copperfield’s tricks are repeated by Sergey Korablev, organization of such tricks costs 20-30 times cheaper.
Starting with 1995 Sergey began repeating some of Copperfield’s tricks. He says: “Journalists write that I completely repeat Copperfield’s tricks, but in fact I do the same he does and add my own secrets to the tricks. What is more, it is impossible to compare me and David Copperfield, as there are three large props companies working for him in America. The props with which we perform our tricks are very cheap, sometimes were even have to borrow some things in theatres and circuses.
Sergey Korablev says that every miracle has its price. Once Moscow journalists suggested the illusionist to perform a trick: the magician was to be put into a square wooden box, then to be thrown into a blast furnace; the illusionist was supposed to successfully get out of the furnace through a screen on the other side of the blast furnace. When Sergey calculated the cost of every component of the trick, it made about two thousand dollars, and the journalists vanished away.
When during Korablev’s tour in the Russian city of Tyumen bankers asked whether the illusionist could make the building of the bank disappear, he said YES and named the price of the trick that made up 200 thousand dollars. At that, he planned to work on special equipment for the trick for three days. And the bankers gave up the idea.
When David Copperfield came to Moscow, tickets to his performances cost hundreds of dollars, but tickets for Sergey Korablev’s show cost not more than 100-150 rubles (that is about 5 dollars). On the whole, his whole show consisting of 15 tricks and lasting for about 2 hours costs 2 – 2.5 thousand dollars.
The Russian illusionists says he can organize different kinds of show, but he needs money. Let’s wait and see what results his visit to the American producer will bring.
Yelena Kiseleva PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://culture.pravda.ru/culture/2003/4/70/199/6504_korablev.html
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