Magic in Our Lives: the Future of Magic Roundtable from Beta Circus - StageLync
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Magic in Our Lives: the Future of Magic Roundtable from Beta Circus

Already in its first year, the Beta Circus project aims to help European circus artists gain professional skills in cutting-edge performance disciplines such as magie nouvelle (new magic). In this roundtable, French magic and anthropology researcher Valentine Losseau and Portuguese magician Luís de Matos discuss the future of magic on the stage.

The Beta Circus project – initiated and organized by four European partner organizations, Bússola in Portugal, Teatro Necessario in Italy, Ludifico in Serbia, and Rigas Cirks in Latvia – offers some of Europe’s up-and-coming circus artists high-level professional training, with an inaugural curriculum focused on magie nouvelle. The project unfolded almost like a foundational course in magie nouvelle, giving the artists multiple perspectives and chances to find contact points between the techniques and their own ways of working.

Part of this project was a full-day professional gathering that focused on the project results, including discussions about the future of magic and highlighted perspectives for the ongoing development and innovation of contemporary circus. The BETA CIRCUS final conference in Ílhavo, Portugal, provided an opportunity to exchange, learn, and network for participants. On behalf of Beta Circus, we are happy to launch this 3-part series and share recordings of the keynote speaker and two roundtable discussions.

Future of Magic

Kalle Nio [FI]
Kalle Nio’s work as a visual artist, magician, and stage director is a combination of magic, visual arts, cinema, art history, circus, and theatre. In his stage performances and cinematic installations, he is an inventor, performer, and researcher creating encounters between the past and the present, between magic and visual arts, between the high arts and the sideshows, between craft and technology, between reality and illusions. He has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Arts Helsinki. With his performing arts group, WHS, he has performed in more than 30 different countries. His visual arts exhibitions, video installations, and short films have been shown in museums and galleries in Finland and abroad.


Valentine Losseau, Cie. 14:20 [FR]
Valentine Losseau initiated the artistic movement of “Magie nouvelle” with Clément Debailleul and Raphaël Navarro in 2000. Two years later, she co-founded the 14:20 Company, for which she has written and directed shows such as Vibes (2011) and Wade in the Water(2016). Her other stage works include Réflexions sur la croyance (2017), Poétiques de l’illusion (2019), Voix libre (2019), and La Veilleuse (2020). In addition to being a magician, a playwright, and a director, Valentine also has a  Ph.D. in anthropology and conducts research
at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology of the Collège de France under the direction of Philippe Descola. A specialist in Indian and Mayan cultures, she confronts her own magic practice and research with theoretical perspectives taken from her scientific work.

Luís de Matos [PT]
Luís de Matos, magician, author, and producer, is a versatile artist whose work fits anywhere from the biggest stages to the most intimate theaters, with enormous experience in television and an extraordinary power of communication. He is one of the most internationally awarded magicians in history, having been honored three times by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood, and is the youngest magician to have received The Magic Circle’s Devant Award for his role in the development of Magical Art. In his native Portugal, he has been decorated with the Order of Infante D. Henrique for relevant services in the expansion of Portuguese culture.

Main image: ©JoãoVersosRoldão

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