PANDA! performer Boran Yu was honored with the Merlin Award from the International Magicians Society on Sunday, Sept. 21 (Pictured: Jianan Zhou, Tony Hassini, Boran Yu, Linda Osterman, Jiaqi Shen).
The lauded magician was presented the award on stage before PANDA!’s 200th show by IMS CEO/Co-Founder Tony Hassini, IMS World President Linda Osterman, and Juliana Chen—the first female and Chinese magician to win the World Championship at the World Congress of Magicians.
“The Merlin Award is one of the most prestigious recognitions in magic,” said Yu. “I am humbled and grateful to be a recipient this year. Performing in PANDA! has been a great honor and I am happy the IMS was able to attend the show and present the award here in The Palazzo Theatre.”
Yu, whose magical feats in the show include pole climbing, ZhongFan, Changing Faces, and Ancient Color Tricks, begin learning traditional Chinese magic in 1988 from his father, Bing Yu, who is also a famous magician and top-ranked performer in China. The same year, he became an acrobat in the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe. Throughout his career, he has won several accolades in both magic and acrobats, including the gold medal in the Heng Yuan Cup National Close-Up Magic Competition and the Gold Lion Award at The Fourth Session of National Acrobatics Competition. Yu’s renown has led to invitations to perform internationally in countries including France, The Netherlands, Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and the United States. In 2013, Yu joined the cast of PANDA!.
PANDA! made history when it celebrated its world premiere at The Palazzo Theatre in January 2014. The first-ever Chinese produced show to take up a Las Vegas residency, the show was welcomed with proclamations from several politicians, including Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. Harry Reid, and Rep. Dina Titus.
Set against a state-of-the-art LED wall, PANDA! transports audiences to a mythical realm of Far Eastern folklore and is produced by a team whose impressive credits include the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The cast features world-class performers from China National Acrobatics Troupe, Shaolin Monastery Kung Fu Monks Troupe, and China Star Dance Troupe.
PANDA! performs Friday through Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. For up-to-date schedule information, including dark dates, or to purchase tickets, visit any Box Office at The Venetian and The Palazzo, or go online to www.venetian.com, or call 702.414.9000. For more information on PANDA!, visit www.pandashowvegas.com.