The magician duo Calamidad y Desastre celebrates 25 years on stage

The magician duo Calamidad y Desastre celebrates 25 years on stage

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They advertise themselves as a ‘de facto couple’ and claim to do “iconoclastic magic, transgressive magic, magic against the grain and different magic”. Néstor Aznar (Zaragoza, 1981) and David Sebastián (Zaragoza, 1979) are artistically called Calamity and Disaster and they have just completed, almost without realizing it, 25 years on stage. They are also one of the most valued creative teams in Spain in the field of conjuring effects. Many great Spanish illusionists have bought some of his creations.

“We met at the Aragonese Magical Association, each one did magic on their own and we started working together a bit by chance -says David Sebastián-. Néstor called me on a Saturday around 2:30 in the afternoon to tell me that he had a performance that same day and if I could go help him. I said yes and then it turned out that the performance was at 4, just a little while later”. calamity… or a disaster. But no. The thing worked, and until today. It is not very often to see magicians acting in pairs on an equal footing, and less so for 25 years.

From their first steps together, they made humor their hallmark, a sometimes corrosive humor that explores all limits. “25 years ago, magic shows in Spain were much more visual than now. In general, with a few exceptions, there was much more music and less words,” says Néstor Aznar. We don’t just talk: we talk, we discuss, we interact… And, despite everything, we’re still friends”.

“In our shows we try to balance magic and humor –adds David Sebastián–, but we don’t have everything defined in detail. We improvise a lot on stage, and it depends on the day and the mood of the audience, we bet more on illusionism or more on humor». In his recent career, shows such as ‘Magic among friends’ or ‘The great magical gala’ stand out, in which other professionals collaborate. And some numbers of his invention, such as ‘The Box of Chickens’, are staged with the same success year after year.

Magic, as a show, has changed a lot in the last 25 years. They have been privileged witnesses of all these changes. How from the numbers with animals (they have also had the classic pigeons) has gone to ‘the magic of the chip’. Their training has helped them in this transition: one works in the field of electronics and the other in computer science.

“The mechanical and classical part of all life continues to function in the world of illusionism -Néstor Aznar points out-. What happens is that technology has revolutionized everything, to the point that it is already the basis of a good part of the effects seen on stage. Today with money you can get anything, you can make a miracle believable.” Although, David Sebastián clarifies, “a large part of the sleight-of-hand effects have already been invented”. But it changes the presentation, the staging, the packaging. In his studio in Zaragoza, baptized as Ideota, Calamidad y Desastre have designed numbers for the main illusionists in the country, from El Mago Pop to the mentalist Luis Pardo, going through Miguel de Lucas, Mag Lari or the Magician Edgard. Sometimes they are asked for a specific effect, sometimes to perfect an existing one, and they also take care of turning what is nothing more than a wish into a number, such as “I want light to come out of this object”. In their favor, they are not only creators, but also stage magicians, so they anticipate any type of problem that may arise during the execution.

“Usually we work on specific projects, not with something that already exists,” says David Sebastián. road traveled. And a lot of research”. In 2004 they won a national prize for Invention. “There are Spanish magicians who have won prizes with our effects -Add-. We also make improvements, but usually we start the work from scratch.”

They are not clear about who is Disaster and who is Calamity, but they do know where the key to success lies: “In the secret,” concludes Néstor Aznar. A trick, when you reveal it, loses all interest. The public turns off, it even seems easy to him. Magic is pure illusion”.

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