MAGIC TIMES [front
(U.S.A) 23-02-04 (MEIR YEDID)
Impossible sounding magic.
THE TIMES: SATURDAY
TIMES MAGAZINE [3-page profile]
(U.K.) 21-11-98 (LISA BRINKWORTH)
Used to use his sleight of hand to broker billion-dollar deals... the mystical cardmeister...a contemporary Pied Piper. He maintains an independent streak even in the world of magic, where he is not known for fraternising with star magicians. Unlike the Copperfields of the magic world, aladin isn't aiming to be a high-profile entertainer- despite being named International Magician of the Year in 1991 and winner of the 1997 Golden Turban Award from the Magic Academy of Bangalore, in India [the site for] a week-long magic event he produced and compered in which 800 international magicians took part. It was broadcast to more than a billion viewers the biggest event in the history of magic."I respond to how people are feeling. I don't just perform tricks for them.
THE SUNDAY TIMES:
THE CULTURE [centre-spread]
(U.K.) 10-7-99 (TIM MARSH)
'... extraordinary magician and artist... Forget the hype and tired stereotypes, this is new British art at its most provocative'.
THE EVENING STANDARD:
GOING OUT [cover feature]
'Don't look for the Ricky Jay brand of con-man tricks here: aladin is a master of sleight of hand...exuberant, gasp-inducing'.
'virtuoso magic and visual poetry'
LONDON NEWS [2 pages]
Summer 16-7-01 (GERALDINE BEDELL)
'Normally, I don't care for magic but there is something very engaging and unshowy about aladin I am not made to feel like a foil, still less a fool, but rather a participant I [am] enchanted, but at a loss to know what he's done Magic, for him, is about mystery, rather than power "My use of magic is not to accentuate differences Good magic is about high-quality exchange, not about power"'.
(London) July 1999.
Part literal and metaphorical travelogue, part lecture-demonstration, part street-magic, part astonishing legerdemain, prestidigitation and sleight-of-hand.
(London) September 1999.
From the oldest tradition in magic theatrical poetry.
(India and International)10-9-99
'Master of magic..amongst many other things, a magician, live artist and producer/director..Born in Washington D.C....he was brought up 'everywhere', speaks English, French and Bengali, has worked with street gangs and been an academic, journal editor and government adviser. And this is just a small sample of the man's achievements.'
HARI KUNZRU (writer/host)
on 'THE LOUNGE', SKY/DOT TV [guest]
'You sometimes hear about people with several strands in their life - but aladin has an entire hammock! One of them is being one of the world's greatest magicians'
(U.K.)19-2-04 (TAMARA COHEN)
Opening an aladin's cave. Charmed by aladin: merchant banker, gangland mentor and acclaimed magician.
aladin asks me to think of a card. I count the cards I am holding and there are 51. He carefully retrieves the ten of diamonds from the previously empty card-box; smiling at my reaction.
You probably haven't heard of aladin. He's an acclaimed, award-winning magician but likes to keep a low public profile. True, he has performed all over the world from Bombay to Las Vegas, featured in documentaries from National Geographic to the BBC, and wowed the crowds as inaugural act at the Ministry of Sound.
Yet despite countless offers, he has largely eschewed mainstream publicity. "I've got an idea, pick another card, no don't let me see it, and now put it back." I do as requested. "Now get your mobile phone and ring mine." An image of my card is flashing on the screen on his mobile phone. This is surreal.
aladin does not see his magic as a spectacle but more of a conversation: "I don't perform tricks as such, and I never rehearse, my magic is different for everyone, I respond to how they are feeling. It's about engagement, not about pure entertainment, its about creating a moment."
I was instructed to bring a paperback along to our meeting. aladin grabs my notebook, writes something on it and puts it on the floor. I am then told to open the book - at an even-numbered page - and read the first line. I pick up my neglected notebook from the floor. It has the word 'captain' written on it. I hadn't even opened the book when it was written.
aladin wears his magician's robes to the Lord Mayor's Banquet and drinks in the astonished reaction; he works with the homeless through magical feats as well as professional advice. No audience is too humble, although he does command four figures. The overlap is not always smooth: "I did some magic for [his colleague] the Mayor once, you know; he mentioned a card, and discovered straightaway that it was under the ashtray front of him." aladin pauses enigmatically, "If I had to describe his reaction, discomfiture would be the word. He wondered what else I knew! I offered to levitate him off the ground but he declined."
(U.K.) 2-3-98 (ANA KERSHAW)
'More healer than magician. The Master of the Altered State. A man on a mission. You may think you've seen magic before, but watching aladin perform is something else altogether. Catch him while you can.'
THE ASIAN AGE
(India + International) 7-1-99 (ABHIK SEN)
'Man with the magic lamp...packs in more in a minute than what you and I probably manage to in a month...he sees more purpose in his magic than just entertainment. While the likes of David Copperfield have turned magic into a spectacle, aladin considers magic a "contemporary artform that thrives on reciprocity."...He declines to see magic as a professional tool or to wrap his skills in mystique.
(India) 17-10-99 (Dr. Raminder Kaur)
'Stunning audiences with his creative shamanism...his magic is a spiritual journey'.
THE DAILY STAR
'It was a quarter past midnight. Among the anxious crowd were vendors andbeggars, looking for a chance to earn some bucks. Suddenly, the man tookout a deck of cards from his pocket and spread them out. It was magic. In the next fifteen minutes or so, the show continued. He made a watch disappear from the wrist of one of his companions, turned a candy from oneof the vendors into a two-taka bill, so on and so forth. Soon, there were more inquisitive eyes joining in. The language and social barriers seemed to have disappeared. "Turn this chocolate bar into taka," said one. Requests started pouring in. The kids wanted more magic. It was already quarter to one. He and his companions had to go, leaving behind a bunch of awestruck teenagers. They were wondering who the magician was, the man who had turned a mundane night into one that they would never forget. It was Aladin. Not with the magic lamp but with the golden hands. One of us queried, "Are you psychic?" "No," said Aladin. "I'm a magician."
@Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), 26-10-00
'David Blaine did some magic for me just the other day; but aladin?! man; he's at a whole different level! He's unbelievable; just incredible. This is as good as it gets.'
@ Soho (London), 6-12-01
Hes the BEST!
(jazz musician) @ Barbican Centre, 10-2-01
'He's got to be the best in the world.'
(Features Editor, Daily Mirror)
I did an expose of David Blaines tricks once in the Mirror and thats all they are: tricks. But aladin does your head in. If he had lived in the Middle Ages theyd have burnt him at the stake as a witch!
on: 'Midweek with Libby Purves' on BBC Radio 4, 'Outlook' on
BBC World Service Radio, 'Metropol' on BBC TV [live with the Secretary of
State for Culture], Running for Freedom on National Geographic TV [aladin was the subject of this major documentary, which has been nominated for international television awards].