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Topic: The History of Modern Dove Magic ala Cantu, Channig Pollock, etc.
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Jun 5, 2006 06:29PM)
I started making some comments about this in another topic but thought it deserved it's own thread.
Message: Posted by: 1906Alpha1906 (Jun 5, 2006 09:27PM)
The cool thing about dove magic is that is dates so far back, that the originator of dove magic can't really be pinned down, although some say one thing, and others will say another. However, if one is to go back to the first PUBLISHED artist in that venue, then that is a different story (but that is, of course, before magicians even thought about publishing anything). It also goes along the lines of "who came up with what move...??" Is it original, or, in fact, has it just never been published? One can claim that a person has invented a 'move' per-say, but how does one really know that it hasn't been done before, but just by someone who is not well-known. This is key. Channing Pollock, AWESOME - had great versatility, and brought dove magic a new look and feel, and there were MANY that mimmicked - but, at the same time, he learned his art form by 'inventing' but also learning. So, who taught the teachers, etc......

Great Topic Magic Mike! Hopefully we will all learn something that we haven't known before.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 6, 2006 05:08AM)
Since neither the Java doves nor silk originated in the "New World", you can bet it was long before 1492.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Jun 6, 2006 01:05PM)
The following is what I posted earlier under the topic "Dove to Confetti" originated by dove-boy:

Cantu died in 1949, in a car accident. Pollock had only been in magic seriously since 1947 when he was 21 years old. Some time in the late 1940's, after getting out of the Navy at the end of WW II, he enrolled in Chavez. I don't know if Channing ever got a chance to see Cantu perform. I do know that Cantu was a close friend of Benny Chavez and that the Chavez school did teach a dove production, I beleive, from newspaper.

From what I have read,(I think in the book: "Come out Flying"), there was another Mexican-American magician by the stage name of Ermando, who was a friend of Cantu's and did a dove act after Cantu's passing. Also, another dove worker from the same period was Tony Kardyro aka Senior Torino, from Rhode Island, who wrote the book entitled DOVE TAIL DECEPTIONS which is still available.

I hope the kind of discussion which is taking place here, concerning the History of Modern Dove Magic, will help to shed some light on this topic that we here seem to be interested.

The following paragraph is newly added:

"If anyone out there had seen Cantu perform in person or on film, I would be very greatful if you could breifly describe his act. Also, if possible, state where the film footage can be found. BTW, I have found an old Mexican film staring Luarel & Hardy where Cantu performs, but not his dove act. It also includes Hagi Ali performing his water regurgitating act, something very different to say the least".

BTW, I am currently vacationing in Europe. In my spare time, I am taking advantage of the WEB to discuss the subject at hand. Dove Magic has been a special interest of mine for over 50 years, but only recently have I had the time and media resources to discuss it at length.

Does anyone out there use the type of dove harness that Slydini developed and is explained in the book by Miriam Chavez titled THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOVE MAGIC.
The advantage of this method is that the harness opens on its way to your hand without you having to do anything to open it. This is another example of the genius of Tony Slydini. Is there any risk that the bird will fall out of the harness prematurely.

Amos Levkovitch explains a very similar method on his teaching video on Dove Magic.

On a side note, when I was a kid I remember seeing Slydini several times at Holden's Magic Shop in Boston, Ma. during the 1950's. I only wish I had the courage to try to pick his brain at the time.
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Aug 28, 2006 08:04PM)
At the IBM convention in Miami, Jack Kodell discussed the issue of whether he was the first to perform with birds. He stated that he wasn't, as others had used birds in effects, but that no one had an entire act themed around birds. Jack used small parkeets, and multiplied them like billiard balls. He would place these small perches on his fingers, and would produce them in that fashion.

He said that others before him had done bird effects, but that his act was all original. When they showed his performance, you could tell. He did the famed Hindu Rope Illusion with one of his birds. A rope on the table became rigid, the bird climbed to the top and vanished in a puff of smoke.

His intro was video'd in by Lance Burton & David Copperfield. Lance thanked him for paving the way for others.

Because many wanted to copy him, he would have all of his props made in pieces, by different manufacturers and assemble them himself, so nobody knew the complete method. It was ruthless in those days.....or so it seemed.

I hope that this helps.

Scott Compton
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Aug 28, 2006 08:50PM)
SCOTT, Thank you for speedy posting. May I ask another favor of you?

Would it be possible to post here what was mentioned about CANTU by the Jack & John Ekin? I am very interested in what you might know about Cantu. There seems to be very little known about him in the public domain. Have you ever seen a film clip of Cantu doing his bird act?

Best regards,

Michael John
Message: Posted by: JTW (Oct 9, 2006 10:39PM)
Hi guys just wanted to pipe in here. I was a part of the team that filmed the talk with Jack Kodell. The consensus is that Cantu's act was not entirely birds, whereas Jack's was. I'm not a historian so my information isn't comprehensive.

I've probably watched the act (Jack's) more than a hundred times and it is truly a wonderful act I would have loved to see the whole 12 minutes.
Jason Wethington
Message: Posted by: Ted Danger (Jul 1, 2020 09:36PM)
Hi all. I'm researching an article on working doves for the American Dove Associations newsletter Doveline. The editor seems excited to get a different style article than the wonderful ones of different breeds that normally grace the pages. All forementioned names here, and on the other Café threads regarding the history of dove magic will be developed. So far, it seems that Channing will lead, and Cantu will be covered. If anyone knows of pre modern dove magic, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 15, 2020 09:37PM)
When I was working and learning dove magic, it cost me over $500 to acquired all the books and different holders offered at that time, trying to find the real secrets to dove productions. During that time, every magician I spoke to, were not impressed with Cantu, as the said he only pulled doves from his colorful folded cloth that many Mexicans of the time wore. It sounded like he really did not perform a magical production as is done in Channing Pollack's time and forward until today. But I guess he was the 1st to pull doves out in an magic act.

Many magicians produced doves, but used apparatus like the Dove Pan.

Jack Kodell worked with and produced parakeets, I don't believe he did anything like using white dove. I contacted him once when he lived in Chicago, he was retired. He refused any information or help on working with parakeets. He never revealed any part of his act or routines. He did offer to sell me his Plexiglas cage that he used to travel with his birds. It was way over my budget at the time. All his work was mainly dependent on training the birds to hop out his pockets and into his hands, and do tricks like climbing a ladder, and using a small teeter-toddler.