Magic in the making: TEDx experience

After two years, TEDxNapierBridgeSalon is back on stage to spellbind its audience.

Published: 19th May 2022 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2022 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

TEDxNapierBridgeSalon event. ( Photo | EPS)

TEDxNapierBridgeSalon event. ( Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: You don’t buy a TEDx ticket, you buy a TEDx experience; that’s how we sell it to our audience,” says Shyam Sundar. If you’ve been to any of TEDxNapierBridgeSalon events in the past, you would know exactly what he means. For those of you who haven’t, well…you’re in luck. The team is hosting a Salon event after quite a hiatus this Sunday. This time around, the entire event has been built around the theme of magic and wonder — Spellbound. And as usual, Shyam, licensee of TEDxNapierBridge, promises that there’s plenty to look forward to. 

“Normally, people think TEDx events have people speaking on stage and we watch. We do those too. What we are known more for is Salon events. What happens is we choose a theme, curate TED talks around it, play them in a closed session and have conversations around it. People do say that they can watch TED talks anywhere. But that’s not the point. This is meant to be a communal experience. And we have discussions; we want to know what different kinds of minds think after watching the talk. Conversations are moderated to offer a unique experience. Here, you are not just consuming but participating. And there will be other experiences curated around the theme too. For Spellbound, we wanted to do something on magic; basically, anything that awes people,” shares Shyam. 

While the theme may conjure images of over-the-top magic shows from your childhood, Madhu Ramakrishnan, one of the curators of this event, clarifies that they have not just focused on the conventional term of magic. “This is about all things that are magical — anything that makes you curious or blows your mind, it could be from tech, cinema, art, or theatre. Anything that goes on behind the scene fills you with awe when you discover it. That’s the feeling we want to inspire in our audience,” she explains. 

With this in mind, the team has lined up a curious albeit secret list of TED talks for the occasion. In the interest of sneak peeks, Madhu reveals that one of them is about a photographer whose style is capturing linear time narrative, where he tries to capture multiple ‘moments’ in one 2D photo. There will be something about the visual effects in films you are familiar with — how props and lighting and such help them come to life. There is a special ‘performance’ from magician Tharun Iyer. ‘Mentalist’ would be a better term to describe this performer, notes Madhu, adding that his offering would surely add to the magic of the event. “You will get it only when you see it! It’s going to be a visually appealing show, where there would be a lot to discuss, discover and ponder over,” she adds. 

This event — and the theme in particular — is a means for TEDx Napier Bridge to script a comeback, says Shyam. “Our last event was supposed to happen on March 15, 2020; six days before the lockdown was announced. For two years, we were out of the picture. Everybody was looking forward to something new and exciting. What better way to touch upon all that than the magic of the word spellbound. This will be a chance to indulge yourself in something new but at the same time, not get bored in the process. Magic is something that excites us any day. Especially after all this hardship, I believe this theme would be very apt for us to take forward,” he concludes.

The TEDxNapierBridgeSalon is on May 22, from 2 pm to 6 pm at Kalki Theatre, Madras House. Tickets at:


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