Magic show pro­motes sci­ence

Moose Jaw - - Front Page - By Kevin Den­ni­son For Moose Jaw Ex­press

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.daniel­ 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.

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