Sorcar's Artistic Triumph

By Micky Hades, editor of Hade-E-Gram Monthly Magazine of Calgary, Canada

"It is with a sense of pride that I join hands with John Booth, Arthur Leroy, Goodliffe and other world renowned magicians, to pay tribute to P.C. Sorcar, who lifted a dying art out of the quagmire of myth and legend and raised it to the highest level of Indian Culture. It is not my intention to come up to the fine writing skills of my colleagues, nor to repeat the praises that have already been accorded. My purpose in writing this article is to express my personal observations, as succinctly as possible, concerning Sorcar's phenomenal transition from an amateur Indian trickster to the World's Greatest Magician, and to elaborate on a specific factor that has a great bearing on this success story. This factor is Sorcar's ability to recognize, adapt and develop the vital artistic skills that must be expertly woven into a giant stage production such as IND-DRA-JAL.

Before we can fully appreciate Sorcar's great artistic accomplishment, we must first look back to the beginning when, unknown and unheralded, he started climbing up the ladder of success. It was a difficult undertaking for, above him were the broken rungs of prejudice and apathy and below, the bramble of myths and ancient traditions. To fall back meant faiure and anonymity; to climb meant facing difficult obstacles. The chances of reaching the top of the ladder were very slim indeed. At this point most people would have chosen to return to solid ground but Sorcar's firm decision was to climb. And so he climbed, inch by inch, foot by foot, higher, far above his contemporaries until the cries of "You'll never make it" dwindled away in the fog below.

Despite the fact that this fantastic achivement is now history, there are still utterings of disbelief--especially among, the Western magicians. How can this be? They ask. How can India, the land so deeply ingrained in the ways of the old, produce such a modern giant? The answer is that the country did not spawn the giant; it was the giant that gave his country a vibrant living art to add to its culture. In recognition of this service, the Government of India conferred the respectable 'Padmadshri' award upon P.C. Sorcar and accepted his spectacular IND-DRA-JAL show as part of its cultural exchange programme.

Sorcar is aware that the art of magic is more than the ability to do clever magic tricks on the stage with a lot of flash. He is an artist who is fully aware of the fact that magic is largely a visual art but there are many other important factors that are equally important to the success of an entertainment. The extent of Sorcar's artistry is fully evident in his advertising which consists of beautiful programmes, bold posters, gargantuan billboards, and myriads of handbills, cards, notices, etc., emblazoned in color. The IND-DRA-JAL show teems with colorful costumes, stage settings and magical apparatus which has been tastefully tailored to accentuate each act. His magical properties and illusions appear quite innocent on the surface yet every item has been subtly treated to achieve the greatest visual impact at all times.

Magicians at large are not wholly familiar with the subtle art of camouflage that is an important facet of Magic. It is such an important fundamental in Magic that I devoted an entire chapter to this subject in my book 'The Make up of Magic'. It requires experienced planning to create an illusion that can be presented successfully on any stage in the world. Sorcar has made maximum use of the art of camouflage in his show. His "Sputnik" Rocket Illusion, Festival in Calcutta Illusion and sensational Sawing Through a Lady Illusion, have captured the attention of the press and television everywhere. Many of his less spectacular productions have won the hearts of his audiences with their mystery and beauty.

It takes an artist to create, assemble and produce a show such as IND-DRA-JAL but it also takes a master showman to add the proper touches of life, drama, mystery, comedy and audience appeal into a stageful of properties. Sorcar has proven himself to be an artist and a showman of rare quality.

Regardless of what conclusions you might choose to make, the fact cannot be altered. Sorcar has surmounted all obstacles, outmanoeuvred his contemporaries, outdrew all box-office receipts, outweighted all magical publicity and outfoxed those who predicted his failure. In doing this he has proven himself to be the Artist that one has to be before he can attain such heights. Look at it in any way you wish, Sorcar is a success story that is already a legend in its time."