The Magic of ‘Incanto ‘

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Wheel of death                                                                                                Photo courtesy : RWS

Three-time recipient of the Merlin Award –the equivalent of the Oscars of the magic world,   Illusionist Joe Labero , award winning Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe, awe –inspiring Gothic  stage settings , lavish costumes ,50 international artistes , singing, dancing ,pyrotechnic displays , all spin a magic of mind blowing proportions called ‘INCANTO’ ! An original, never-before-seen theatrical magic spectacular specially created for Singapore, presented by Resorts World Sentosa and Danze Fantasy Productions.

A Scene from the show 'Incanto'

As you enter the Festive Grand Theatre you find dark hooded, dark robed characters akin to ‘Death Eaters’ from Harry Potter novels moving around.  As the show opens you are treated to death defying illusions and death defying acrobatics.

With bated breath we watch…Wheel of Death, the biggest in Asia.  Standing at an incredible height of 12 metres the wheel spins faster and faster as four performers in the cages control the spinning of the wheel. As one runs and jumps on the outside of the cage, another controls the speed by walking or running inside another cage.

There are many firsts in the event for Singapore. The Illusionist Joe Labero performs the Double Levitation, levitating 10 metres with his subject and also Blade Runner act where a massive blade suspended 6 metres above a steel platform slices the villain in two halves.

He is one of the few Illusionists to have successfully performed dangerous illusions such as The Bullet Catch, The Exploding Box in which he escaped from a wooden crate that hung 30 metres above crowds in just two minutes, and The Escape Routine that was performed live in front of over 100,000 amazed spectators in Sweden and a global TV audience of over 200 million.

The event story line follows the adventure of a Seeker. Discovering an abandoned monastery, her curiosity draws her deep into the forbidden world wherein she gets inextricably sucked into a battle of Good and Evil between the Sorcerer and the fearful Dungeon Master.

Interestingly the ‘Seeker’ is gracefully performed by local talent Miss Oon Shu An, a graduate from LASALLE, College of Arts who is also the lead female vocalist. The tall, evil, intimidating Dungeon Master is played by Chad O’Brien, a fellow graduate of the acting course at LASALLE College of the Arts. The dramatic music is written by local music composer, Jonathan Lim.

The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe, the most awarded acrobatic troupe in the world, winners of  multiple global awards including gold prizes at the Festival  Mondial du Cirque de L’Avenir, and Gold& Silver Clown awards at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival showcase skills, ‘Bell Act’, with synchronised trapeze, ‘Hoops Act’, Kungfu and the stunning ‘Wheel of Death’.

Presenting an event of this magnitude would have its hardship for which Singapore-born director Mr Ben Russell, recipient of the 2012 Merlin Award for Best Director in Magic, Director of Creations,  Danze Fantasy Productions  revealed , “The biggest challenge is at the same time the greatest joy – providing substantial stage time for the incredible cast of all 50 performers that bring the show to life. Also, the sheer coordination of bringing these artists to Singapore and having them work together for the first time is daunting, but the incredible team behind the show made it all work out amazingly”.

Illusionist Joe Labero

Who is the creator of the various stage settings? How many stage setting changes are there in the show?

Mr Ben Russell : “As Director of Creative for Incanto, I was fortunate enough to start with a blank page and then conceptualise and bring to life the ideas and skills of our Production Team. The team hails from all over the world and they helped immensely to create the final experience for the audience taking them through 4 iconic scenes, from the majestic monastery gates opening to the Potion room, the mysterious and forbidden Monastery and to the exhilarating finale within the Dungeon”

And to Mr Joe Labero about his Singapore experience,” The Singapore audience have been great since we started the Show and now even better. I am signing autographs for longer and longer time and I can get an excellent feel of what they enjoyed with their direct feedback.”

Individually how many of your magic shows have you showcased and in how many countries.
Sweden for 2 Years and then Touring  Norway, Finland and then Australia 2010, Thailand, 2011 and now 4 months in Amazing Singapore .

Of your different illusions being presented in the event which do you find very challenging?
“The most challenging is to keep the energy level and give my all to every performance, striving to be better and surprise audiences. The most dangerous illusion is the Table of Death.”

Which of your llusions do you feel is liked by audience the most.

“The most talked effect is The Floating Table, Bill in Lemon and the Blade Runner Illusion, where I cut myself length-wise and in the end sawing the villain in half.”

As Mr Russell points out, “It is a collective effort to present audiences with an unforgettable show experience.” That’s exactly what ‘Incanto’ proves to be ‘A Magical Spectacular ‘and the show continues till March 10th.

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