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The Magic in World Cinema: A performance and conversation with Shreeyash Palshikar

Is there a difference between western and Asian understandings of what is scary? How does the idea of reincarnation resonate with the idea of ghosts? In what mystical practices do people recall seeing their grandparents engage? From sword swallowing to the Indian Rope Trick, Shreeyash Palshikar will captivate audiences in this unique livestreamed magic show incorporating the best of Indian and western magic.

This performance will be followed by a conversation with Chicago actor Dwight Sora about the close connections between magic and cinema in Asia and the west. The discussion will explore Bollywood, Japanese cinema, and other Asian cinemas’ depictions of magicians, ghosts, and other mystical characters and experiences. This segment will include a Q&A in which audience members will be encouraged to share their own personal stories of strange and spooky happenings.

Shreeyash Palshikar is a magician and scholar who has performed worldwide for three decades in Europe, Asia, and accross the US including at: Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, Exeter University (UK), and the Smithsonian Museum. He holds a PhD from The University of Chicago, a BA from Amherst College, and has won two Fulbright fellowships. His current Fulbright allowed him to study the last living traditional street magicians in India during summer 2019. He is working on a book based on his research. More info:

Dwight Sora is a Korean/Japanese-American actor, martial artist, and a community volunteer in Chicago. Sora has appeared in numerous plays, films, industrials, trade shows, and voiceovers with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company, and Silk Road Rising. He holds a BA from The University of Chicago and is a 3rd Degree blackbelt in Aikido. He has collaborated with Shreeyash on magic shows where he smashes a cinder block on Shreeyash’s stomach with a sledgehammer. More info:

Dates & Times


November 13, 2020
7:30 pm