Secrets of the most famous wizard of the twentieth century: truth and fiction about Emile Kio
April 11 marks 123 years since the birth of the founder of the famous circus dynasty Emil Teodorovich Kio. Even during his lifetime, so many legends were associated with his name that it was extremely difficult to separate truth from fiction. The great illusionist was such an unsurpassed master of his craft that even in Japan he was called “the wizard of the twentieth century”. Secrets accompanied him not only in his professional life, but also in his personal life…
And the first of these secrets is connected with his name, or rather, with a pseudonym. After all, Emil Teodorovich’s real last name is Hirschfeld-Renard. However, to work on the stage, which he dreamed of, he needed a more effective, memorable and short alias. About why he began to call himself Kio, the artist himself told this legend: one evening he passed by the cinema “Art”, and noticed that the word “Cinema” burned out one letter – “n”. The word ” Kio ” seemed to him mysterious and euphonious, he took it as a sign from above and decided to take such an unusual pseudonym.
And when he was in Kiev on tour, jokingly called his alias an abbreviation and deciphered it as “Kiev famous deceiver”. The audience picked up on this idea and offered their own version: “how interesting it is to cheat.” Emil Kio’s son Igor voiced his own version: “my Father is half-Jewish, half-German. In Warsaw, my father lived next to a synagogue. And Saturday morning began with a prayer that could be heard all around. And in the prayer there was a sort of refrain: TKIO, TKIO. This TKIO was so embedded in my father’s consciousness that he decided to link his life with it.” Which of these versions is the closest to the truth-it is difficult to say, because they were all voiced by the illusionist himself. Apparently, he didn’t mind the legends surrounding his name.
Emil Kio was the first illusionist who began to demonstrate tricks not on the stage, but in the circus arena, where they were viewed from all sides, the first to ask the audience intellectual puzzles and puzzles, the first to use some of the principles of tricks that illusionists follow to this day. In 1960, Emil Kio in London earned the title of the best magician in the world, and a year later in Denmark received the gold medal of the International artistic Lodge. In Japan, he was called the wizard of the twentieth century.
For 33 years, Emil Kio performed in the circus arena and enjoyed incredible popularity. He made good money and was considered by many to be a millionaire. However, this is another myth. The fact is that he spent all the money he earned on his family, and it was very large, and spoiled his wife with expensive gifts – bought her fur coats, jewelry, French perfume. The wife of Emil Kio Jr. Eleonora Prokhnitskaya admitted: “when Emil Teodorovich died (December 19, 1965), I had to sell the black Volga to put a monument in the Novodevichy cemetery – the great illusionist’s savings book was empty.”
Since all the artists of the circus dynasty Kio always had a lot of assistants, the legend was born that there was a fierce competition between them, with frequent scuffles and scratching of faces. Iolanta Kio, who Was the wife of first Igor Kio, and then-his brother Emil, confirms these facts: “Everyone sought to take a more noticeable position in the room povyigryshnee. But there was no point in competing for the sawing trick, because they usually sawed Their own wives.”
Iolanta Kio also revealed many family secrets of the circus dynasty: “Emil Teodorovich was generally a great aesthete, a lover of women… It was not an ordinary family. From Kio I lived in the apartment his ex-assistant is Kocherhan Tahouna (Kosha). Once she was a theater actress in Ordzhonikidze, but fell in love with Emil Teodorovich and went after him. Eventually, Emil was born to them. Six years later, kio’s other assistant, Yevgenia Vasilyevna, gave birth to Igor. She was 24 years younger than kio, and he married Her. At the same time, Emil Teodorovich could not allow his eldest son to remain without a father. So they all lived together in a three-room apartment on Leninsky Prospekt: Kio Sr., Kosha, Eugene, Emil, Igor… One can only wonder how women agreed to such a thing.”
Emil Kio was such a professional illusionist that many people sincerely considered him a wizard. And they came to him with requests to remove the evil eye, make a spell, cure from drunkenness, etc.of Course, he did not do this, but, as eyewitnesses said, he still had hypnosis and could predict the future. However, this is also a legend…