When the legend of PC Sorcar turns 100 in two years, he’ll walk in 3D.
That’s the promise of his eldest son Manick, who’s working on a spectacular multimedia show as a tribute to the magician who put Indian magic on the global map.
Manick, a lighting design wizard based in Denver, Colorado, will harness the magic of laser in his enterprise.
“The 90-minute show will be part spectacle and part biographical,” said Manick, the elder brother of P.C. Sorcar (Jr). It would involve cutting-edge lighting technology — including laser and “intelligent lighting”, live action as well as some archived footage of his father. “I have footage of him cutting a woman in half at the NBC Studio in the US.”
Biographical details he may give out, but the spectacle part is something Manick is keeping close to his chest. “Of course there’ll be some magic. How can you have a show on P.C. Sorcar without that?”
Sorcar himself has long been working on the other aspects of the show. “It’s a lot of work. You got to have a script and a storyboard. You need to plan the transition of the scenes — how to cut and dissolve, fade in or out as necessary. The soundtrack has to be locked in so that you can plan how many pictures you need to draw and then the pieces of animation can be placed in proper order.”
The show will be designed so that Manick can tour with it around the world. “But it is also my heart’s desire that all three of us brothers get on stage in Calcutta to do something together for our father’s centenary.”
Manick said his father was the one who encouraged him to work on the lighting and art of his magic shows, which kindled the fire to combine art with science, “which eventually led to all that I do”.
If on one hand, Manick designs the light for venues across the world like the palace of Prince HRH Faisal Bin Sultan in Saudi Arabia, Shinurayasu and Musashi-Koshugi sport centres in Japan and the Denver International Airport, on the other he is an acclaimed animator. With laser animation, he gets to combine his twin passions — art and lighting technology.
Lighting was crucial to Sorcar’s on-stage illusions, said Manick. “It plays a crucial role in diverting audience attention. Baba had trained all three sons in magic. But when he saw I was more interested in illumination, he encouraged me to focus on that. ‘If you fall in love with something, you will find magic in it’, he used to say.”
One act where lights played a crucial role was Sputnik. Manick still remembers the first time his father performed it at New Empire in the mid-1960s. “During the act, there was a background scene of a galaxy with twinkling stars. I used to do that lighting. My father had imported a spinning disc with a galaxy on its inner wall through which light was to pass. But an assistant broke the disc before the show. I drew the galaxy on a mica sheet and pasted it inside the apparatus. It worked fine. My father was told about the accident only after the show was over. He was very pleased with me.”
Sorcar is in Calcutta to present a public laser show in Salt Lake over the fourth weekend of October but he will stay on to oversee the start of a course on laser animation as a part of illumination engineering at Jadavpur University (as reported earlier in Metro).
He plans to include the laser animation part of the project in the course. “Classes will effectively start next summer. I will teach the students how to draw with a beam of light running around at high speed. They will then help me out.”
(Note: The shows referred to in the article are at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center (EZCC, Purbashree Auditorium), Salt Lake, Kolkata, on October 21, 22, 23, 2011, 6:30 pm)