Magic show promotes science
Magic was in the air June 10 as French Canadian magician Daniel Coutu visited Moose Jaw’s École Ducharme to perform his act, Science ou Magie 2: Méchant Phénomène. The show was put on for students, friends, family, and the community to raise funds for Voyage 2013, an educational program which will send local students from École St. Margaret and Palliser Heights School French Immersion to Quebec next year. “He is very appreciated by people of all ages because his show is perfectly adapted to entertaining the whole family,” said Marcel Sabourin, the new community development director for the Association Communautaire Fransaskoise de Moose Jaw. Overall the performance was a great success and Sabourin is looking forward to the next time Coutu can come to Moose Jaw. “It was great, really a lot of fun. People were happy and the magician was very enthusiastic which is good because it drew the audience into wanting to participate. ” Unlike many other magicians, Coutu strives to amaze his audience and to educate them. “I use magic to promote science for children. I ask the kids to think about whether there is an explanation for what they’ve seen,” explained Coutu. “I’ll show an experiment or magic trick on stage and they have to decide whether it’s science or magic.” The concept for his show came from an experience he had at school while he was a student. “One day I did a show for a scientist who was working at my school and he told me that there was a lot of phenomenon in the universe that there is no explanations for. It was almost as if these things were magic,” explained Coutu. “So that’s where the idea for ‘Science or Magic’ came from and I wrote it soon after.” There have been two versions of Coutu’s Science or Magic show since he first developed the idea. The first form of the show was performed more than 600 times while the current version, Science or Magic 2, has been done about 500 times. Coutu is happy the show has become such a success and continues to refine it all the time to ensure he is giving the best performance he can. Coutu started performing magic for fun when he was around seven years old. By the age of 12 he had discovered his first good magic trick and began to take his acts more seriously. Coutu was mentored by Donald Charby, a magician from Quebec who taught him everything he knows. Since setting off on his own, he has continued to associate himself with the other magicians and is constantly trying to perfect his art. “I’m improving myself every year and always attending magic conventions. There’s also the Canadian Association of Magicians convention that every year I attend to exchange tricks and learn skills.” In 2002 he developed his first stage show, “I-magienation”, which led to him winning the CEGEP Public’s Choice Award. Later in May of 2003 Coutu reached a career milestone when he was asked by Canadian opera singer Natalie Choquette to perform with her at La Place des Arts Théâtre Maisonneuve, an enormous theatre in Montreal. This was a boost to his already blossoming career and words of admiration from Choquette herself served to motivate him further. “An amazing magician […] A gifted and magical on-stage presence,” Choquette said of the young magician in an article published by La Presse. In 2004 Coutu was noticed by comedian Francois Léveillée who invited him to perform at the opening ceremony of the second Drôle de Gala during the Le Grand Rire Bleue Comedy Festival. Coutu feels fortunate that he is able to make a living doing what he loves. “This is what changed my life. As a little boy I had a lot of energy and I needed a lot of attention. With magic I was able to channel that energy and get a lot of positive feedback.” If you would like to learn more about Coutu and how he incorporates science into his magic shows check out his French website at www.danielcoutu.com. Videos of Coutu’s show can also be seen on Youtube.
Audience helper Isabella is amazed as Coutu conjures up two red balls from thin air.
Daniel Coutu sends shreds of paper sailing into the air duing his final act.