Flights of fancy: ‘Incanto’

By Zaki JufriEvents - 01 November 2012 3:06 PM

Flights of fancy: ‘Incanto’

The Sorceror, Joe Labero. Photo: Zaki Jufri

A giant prop takes centre stage in this show. Like something out of a ‘Mad Max’ movie, two massive metal contraptions with a steel cylinder on each end make up ‘The Wheel of Death’.

Wheel of Death
An acrobat on the Wheel of Death

Four members of the Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe take their place on each cylinder and the metal monster whirls in opposite directions—without safety nets or wires. These seasoned performers execute their routine without batting an eyelid; until one of them decides to don a blindfold—and stumbles. Hearts stop, the audience lets out a loud gasp but somehow the performer manages to regain his footing fast enough to keep his balance. He whips out a skipping rope from his pocket and jumps rope—still blindfolded.

This heart-stopping spectacle is part of Resorts World Sentosa’s latest show, ‘Incanto opening on 8 November 2012 and playing though 10 March 2013 at Festive Grand.

“One of the biggest challenges of putting on a show like ‘Incanto’ is to manage expectations,” says director Ben Russell, “We had to come up with something that no one has seen or experienced before, and so the pressure’s on.”

‘Incanto’ is the long overdue replacement of the integrated resort’s long-running theatre production, ‘Voyage de la Vie’. The show, which ended its two-year run on 18 July this year, played some 600 shows.

Besides death-defying stunts by the acrobatic troupe, ‘Incanto’ also features a cast of 50 international performers including leading actors and rhythmic dancers, complete with lavish sets and state-of-the-art special effects.

‘Incanto’ sneak preview

Also read: Interview with Joe Labero

Other notable acts include the ‘The Bell Act’ which involves a huge bell suspended from the ceiling, contortionists and a synchronised trapeze as well as escape illusion; and ‘Blade Runner’—a death-defying stunt that sees showman Joe Labero get shredded into half by a 6-foot buzzsaw.

“We decided to base ‘Incanto’ around the element of magic and fantasy because we know that it would go down well with audiences here; especially with the popularity of shows like ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter’.  This is just the kind of thing that will appeal to audiences of all ages. But ‘Incanto’ is not just a magic show; it’s 90-minutes of spectacular family entertainment and we are very confident that people will love it,” says Andrea Teo, Resorts World Sentosa’s vice president of entertainment and executive producer.

The Dungeon Master, Seeker and Jester in a scene

Australian actor Chad O’Brien who plays the Dungeon Master, the chief antagonist in the show looks forward to opening night. “It’s been a great experience performing and rehearsing with the rest of the cast for the last two months. With its interesting story as well as a blend of magic, dance and acrobatics, I’m sure that people will definitely enjoy ‘Incanto’,” says the recent Lasalle College of The Arts graduate.

Labero has performed everywhere in Europe and North America, and is overwhelmed at the magnitude of the production here. “I’m used to performing for big audiences but the scale of this production and even the stage at Festive Grand is one that I’m so looking forward to—it’s very tall!” quips the magician, “the biggest challenge performing here is getting my timing perfect.”

So which illusion will leave audiences baffled?

“It would have to be the ‘Double Levitation’, says Labero, “It’s a new twist on levitation but cleaner, softer and more beautiful. I will levitate myself as well as the Seeker, and that will be something that audiences will remember.”

‘Incanto’ runs from 8 November 2012 to 10 March 2013. Tickets available from Sistic