Iterations

Tom Cassani

Magicians usually go to great lengths to keep their art a mystery, hiding behind smoke and mirrors to ensure the audience stays blissfully baffled. Tom Cassani, whilst never jeopardising his place in the Magic Circle, takes a different view. Demonstrating the same sleight-of-hand coin trick over and over, he not only deconstructs the manoeuvre but the entire concept of magic.

Regularly checking his notes on a nearby music stand, Cassani works his way through over a dozen iterations with wit and charm. “This one,” he tells us, standing centre-stage in a boiler suit devoid of glamour, “is the one with sound effects.” Versions with piano music and contemporary dance follow, each more amusing than the last.

Cassani’s ability to whip a coin past our conscious gaze and into his pocket, or pluck it out of thin air, is testimony to the countless hours spent practising. But it’s his deadpan delivery, questioning nature and infectious sense of fun that elevates him from sideshow turn to performance artist. 

Kelly Apter

It’s difficult to capture the magic of Tom Cassani’s Iterations because somehow, the more delicately he deconstructs his act, the more astounding it becomes. Which is the point, of course.

Cassani structures his act to paradoxically show the effort involved in a seemingly straightforward performance. He pulls the hard work, like a silver dollar from thin air, to the centre of his stage, showing the audience the calluses it takes to make the impossible happen. There is no bitterness in this demonstration (perhaps he has made that vanish too) only a comfortable but commanding charisma that keeps us enraptured.

The precision of Cassani’s gestures, his dextrous sleight-of-hand, along with a well-honed sense of physical and comedic timing, illustrate an enviable bodily control. But it is the storytelling, spontaneous interactions and intelligent use of theatrical techniques that sets this work apart.

Hannah Finnimore

Warning: this text will disappear as soon as you blink. 

In Iterations Tom Cassani transposes the variations of a trick. 

Magic.

At once funny, reflective and sometimes silly, Iterations plunges you into a space-time loop that demonstrates the artist’s effort to draw on and exhaust his performative proposition in order to reveal its essence. So when the magic enters the dance, through chiselled, precise and hypnotic gestures, it’s our inner child who wakes up to (re)discover that the real magic lies in the body’s ability to captivate us through the repetition of movement.

Magic

In this interactive one-man show, the audience is invited to reflect philosophically on our propensity to repeat patterns. Although stimulating at the time, the challenge lies in our individual capacity to change our habits to magically re-enchant the world around us. 

Iteration: Immediate and pointless repetition of a gesture, a word or a syllable.

Magic.

Robin Lamothe

Tom Cassani’s Iterations seamlessly merges sleight-of-hand magic, audience interaction, and philosophical exploration. Through dynamic routines, he breaks down the barriers between performer and audience, inviting us to reflect on the very nature of performance. Notably, he adeptly adapts his act to diverse settings, prompting consideration of the nuances between street and stage. 

Deconstructing conventional magic tropes, Cassani challenges perceptions of impossibility and the significance of repetition in mastering skills. His precision and simplicity provoking profound contemplation. 

Changing his role as a performer, Cassani  joins us in the audience and invites one of us on stage. Continuous repeats of the magic trick reveal layers of wonder, and it’s notable that the more intricately he dissects his performance, the more mesmerizing it becomes.

Intertwining entertainment with performance art, Cassani both captivates and inspires introspection.

Fatemeh Esmaeilghorbaninejad