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Topic: Vintage Footage of Indian Rope Trick!
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 10, 2010 10:08PM)
Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_cJ8FwBdaI

Well, what do you guys think?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 12, 2010 12:52PM)
It's amazing how many new guys are doing this. Must be a dealer over there selling workshop plans.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 12, 2010 04:53PM)
The only other videos I've seen is where the rope slowly rises from a basket and it doesn't look near as clean as this old one.

I've seen few that have tried to copy this but never anyone doing it in broad daylight, surrounded, and with the rope just tossed in the air, no basket, rope inspected. Supposedly this was shot 80+ years ago!

Looks different than the new methods. Do you think it is done using the same method?

I'm stumped it looks like trick photography, or even MAGIC. :)

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Feb 12, 2010 05:28PM)
WOW
It must be magic.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 12, 2010 06:02PM)
Oh, yeah, I forgot. Magicians don't want there effects to look like MAGIC.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Feb 12, 2010 06:36PM)
Gene Poinc devised a surrounded method performed in the middle of a football stadium.

Kotah
Message: Posted by: leondo (Feb 12, 2010 11:42PM)
I, and most of you, could duplicate that trick....
Enough said.
Ted L
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 13, 2010 07:28AM)
Leondo,

Could you direct me to any resource to learn that effect. I would be interested in even seeing any other performance of someone just tossing the rope up like that.

I, for one, have been studying magic for 40 years and haven't seen that duplicated. I would appreciate anyone pointing out a source where it can be seen or learned.

That type of rope would weigh so much, that I doubt most people could even throw it a foot above their head without using centrifugal force. The only thing I can think of involves a crane, and I doubt an Indian Fakir had access to one 80+ years ago. If it used a series of wires/cables from buildings or tree it would have been blatantly obvious to the spectators.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Feb 13, 2010 08:09AM)
Ted
You may be able to duplicate that trick, but I am ready to give that Indian Fakir a jumbo round of applause. That skinny little man threw that heavy rope streight up in the air with one hand. I think you are exadurating my friend.

Metatron
Thank you for the fabulous video.

BRAVO
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 13, 2010 12:22PM)
In India the cheapest thing is labor... you need a crew to dig an underground pit.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 13, 2010 01:11PM)
No matter how it is done I think it's a pretty good trick.

I wonder why we don't see it performed more in the west?

What a great permotional stunt! I think media would eat it up.

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Feb 13, 2010 01:59PM)
What a fantastic Super Bowl half time show, and if Pete is right not necessarily on the playing field.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 13, 2010 03:01PM)
Shankar Jr. helped me get in contact with the guy that did the best version. He did it out on the beach with MAYBE 1000 SPECTATORS...

I tried to book him to do it as a pre-conventtion stunt for the World Magic Seminar. We had planned to do it in the inield at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

But the number of people he wanted to bring, plus his fee... was beyond outrageous.

Too bad.

Now that I think about it, we could probably have hired an Indian Actor and built the rig ourselves for 1/10 the cost.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Feb 13, 2010 04:24PM)
Pete
Just how often did that man perform this trick?
Message: Posted by: magomarko (Feb 13, 2010 09:40PM)
More than a magic trick this is a feat of strength! Just try throwing a rope that thick into the air, a fact noticed by posters Metatron and Al Angelo before in this thread.

That said, in the book Abbott's Treasury of Illusions there is a whole section about the Indian Rope Trick with several versions. One always interested me because the text more or less says it is a genuine Indian street version. The rope is prepared inside... but you better read it in the book and see the drawings there. I suppose something like that could be used to perform or at least approach the effect as seen in this old film.

By the way, the same material is also in Vol 1 of Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks. See page 391, J.K. Wright's Indian Rope Trick.
Marko
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Feb 13, 2010 10:53PM)
Perhaps reverse video. I was involved with a video for a hand product. In it, an egg slowly made its way downward to be caught in a hand. All in slow motion. It was done by turning the camera upside down, and then simply releasing the egg from the hand...
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 13, 2010 11:22PM)
Magomarko,

Thank you for the references. I currently don't have either of the books referenced but I will try to acquire them shortly.

This discussion has kind of inspired me to do more research and experiments on reproducing this type of effect. The only other references of method I've read was about "human hair stretched between two hills", I guess that's Ancient School equivalent to Invisible Th****! :)

Does anyone else have any references to share?

Thanks,

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Feb 14, 2010 05:19AM)
[b]Jadoo[/b] by the late, great John A. Keel of the Mothman stories. Has a detailed description of the method of the Indian Rope Trick as described in the ancient texts--cut up and restored boy and all.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 14, 2010 11:38AM)
Whit Haydn,

Thank you for the additional reference.

I also found your discussion from years ago very informative and entertaining:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=20598&forum=7

Metatron
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Feb 14, 2010 03:35PM)
In spite of the fact that most of the magicians in the west do tend to rub it off, I personally thing that the Indian Great Indian Rope Trick did exist but has largely been forgotten as the secret was not passed from father to son or from the mentor to the disciple. The video posted by Metatron is an old video but what Pete is talking about is the revived version by an unknown street magician who lives in slums in India. I was in touch with him and has some original information sent by him to me and he was interested in come to perform in Europe and I think he also did but he did not tell me how many persons he wanted to get and or the price. His video can be seen here. He just does the first part of the trick, but I guess that someone will add to this and make would be able to perform the second and the third part of the trick as well.

I some how feels that Ishammuddin does it a bit too fast and takes the kick out of the rope standing straight on its own. So the version done by Rajkumar is better for me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx_rqOjZOAg&feature=fvw

50 Greatest Magic Tricks shows the first rivival video. There were some 25000 spectators. The video is here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPUAlR1qiRQ&feature=related

And off course if you are looking for an excellent backdrop the trick can been seen here, where Ishammuddin performing it for Penn and Teller in front of the Taj Mahal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPUAlR1qiRQ&feature=related

And finally you see him do the trick in Belfast.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUym18rbEAc&feature=related

Next time I am in India I would see if I can catch him and get him to do a private video for me.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 14, 2010 07:03PM)
MahaRajaDeMagia,

Thanks for the links. I have so far 3 Magicians from India performing The Modern Version, or as I am calling it, The Basket Version of The Rope Trick.

So Far:

Ishamudin or Isamudin or Ishamuddin or Ishammuddin - (various spellings occur)

Rajkumar

Hasan Khan

I have no other video, or even know of, any other performers in the USA, UK or anywhere else for that matter.

Magomarko, I have acquired Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks and read what you referenced, it was very thought provoking. Thank You.

I would like to thank everyone for the input to this discussion, it has been very helpful.

Any other suggestions, references or performance clips would be greatly appreciated.

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 14, 2010 08:34PM)
I have a VHS tape of someone doing it way better than any of the above links. If I can dig it out and get it converted to post, I will.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 15, 2010 10:04AM)
Mr. Biro,

I for one would love to see the video clip. I am sure others would too.

But I know getting VHS converted can be a big pain.

Thanks,

Metatron
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Feb 16, 2010 03:27AM)
Peter Lamont's book is pretty exhaustive on the subject.

I have spoken at length to the Shankar family in southern India who devised the trick for Ishammudin and had him perform it first in their home town. I can tell you that it takes quite a bit more than men digging a pit.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 16, 2010 10:41AM)
Rjenkins,

When you say "Peter Lamont's book is pretty exhaustive on the subject" do you mean he covers various methods that have been attempted. Or it is exhaustive on it's attempt to debunk the Legend of the trick?

In other words, are there methods to make the rope rise in the book or is it just a history of the story and why it could never have occurred? Is his book a source of methods?

To me it doesn't really matter if the "CLASSIC" version ever occurred. I am more interested in trying to "Replicate" as much of the legend as possible, even if that means no disappearance / dismemberment of the assistant.

Thanks,

Metatron
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Feb 16, 2010 12:10PM)
It's exhaustive on the history of the claims to have seen the trick performed in India, the Magic Circle challenge, and the subsequent attempts by stage magicians to do it - obviously much easier if you can control lighting. There is not much discussion of genuine methods of doing it in the open air since he concludes that it has never truly been done.

He was at the show in Udupi where the Shankars did the first bit of the trick (I think a TV company paid for him and Richard Wiseman to go out there).

The reason I know anything about this is because I made a radio documentary about it but it's a good while ago now and my memory is a bit hazy.
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Mar 13, 2010 07:20PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-16 04:27, rjenkins wrote:
I have spoken at length to the Shankar family in southern India who devised the trick for Ishammudin and had him perform it first in their home town. I can tell you that it takes quite a bit more than men digging a pit.
[/quote]

Shankars are nice guys and are really doing a lot for magic in India but I really doubt that they devised the trick for Ishammuddin. Ishammuddin at that time could not have been able o afford anyone to devise a trick. Ishammuddin performed the trick in Delhi but on that occasion the top of the rope bent down. It was reported in the Hindustan Times. Shankars with their international exposure made an international event out of it. Which was excellent. Had it not been for them this revival would have died as unknown in India. By the way Ishammuddin went researching the trick with the old street magicians to get the Magic Circle challenge money. He did not receive a dime.
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Mar 13, 2010 08:03PM)
Metatron, I am behind this trick since more than 20 years. I try and acquire all the information I can. I do not have the money to get old collectables but a very good article on this trick is in the book "Hindu Magic" by P.C. Sorcar Sr. He also believed that it was a trick which was and could be performed and not mass hypnotism. In fact he even gives a very nice piece of hint by suggesting that the famous "Hindu Basket Trick" was the last part of the "Indian Rope Trick". So in fact, with the revival by Ishammuddin we have the first and by Sorcar's suggestion the last part. I am sure that with interest and time someone somewhere will find out or devise the vanishing part. Sorcar is of the opinion that the limbs falling off could have been pulled off by the exchanging a monkey which the magicians carried in his robe when he followed the boy who refused to come down. And what people saw were the limbs of the monkey, who was exchanged for the boy. This could have been possible in 19th century but would be unthinkable today. Who would kill a monkey every time the trick was performed. So I would be more than satisfied if the vanish part is devised and then the boy resurrected from the "Hindu Basket".

I have both "Abbot's Encyclopaedia of Rope Tricks for Magicians" and "The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History" by Peter Lamont. But I do not like the negative attitude of Lamont. This books aims at tracing how the British media converted something non-existing into one of the world's most well known myth. Not a book for you if you are looking for a source on methods. I doubt if a source book exists. Magic in India was passed from father to son or from master to disciple or even more a worthy disciple. So you would not find anything written.

Rjenkins is not correct when he says that at Udipi the Shankars did the trick. It was Ishammuddin who did the trick. Shankar's organised the show and invited the local and international press and magicians at a convention they were organising.

There is another guy in the south who did this trick for the television. I will try and find out the video from him. And there is no one selling plans for it in India, not to mention that magic shops do not exist. But should you be interested I can provide you with Ishammuddin's e-mail. If he is willing to sell, and I guess he has sold the secrete to others like Rajkumar and Hassan or at least taught them the trick, you can take a chance.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Mar 15, 2010 03:23PM)
Maharajademagia,

Thank you very much for your input on this trick. I to have been contemplating this great illusion, and continue to research and refine ideas concerning it. I to disagree with Lamont's conclusion. I have personally found multiple references of eye witness accounts that predate the British Media story by decades.

Recently I had an epiphany concerning this effect. It actually came to me in a dream (No Joke)! All this research and thinking seems to have saturated down into my subconscious and when I awoke, I had a working & valid concept to apply. It is amazing what tunnel vision can accomplish!

This concept would allow for the climbing of the rope by a person(s) up to 300 lbs, and yet the rope is still pliable and can be handled like normal rope, be coiled... The rope can rise up to 20 feet into the air, and can be climbed to the very top. It is a combined rope trick/sword basket version. I too believe that they were used in conjunction with each other. It is all self contained, portable and light weight. Can be performed surrounded, indoors or outdoors, and on any solid surface. No outside rigging, cranes, poles or wires needed, no pits or raised stages needed. Can be carried out and performed with no advanced setup.

I believe my concept & method is sound, all that remains is the fabrication process and further prototype testing. I don't currently have great funds to spend on this project, since I recently spent $5000.00 on another unrelated project, my wife would kill me if spend to much on a project like this :) ! I would love to purchase a working model or just the secret from Mr. Ishammuddin, but, I can not, at this time, justify the expense.

So I am currently trying various methods to fabricate the needed items on my own, as cheaply as possible. My current strategy is labor intensive, but cost effective. I am hand fabricating each needed item personally, and at my current rate, it will be winter before I complete the prototype. Of course, I am keeping my concept under wraps, since it could be a very, very, marketable effect. So wish me luck!

PM me your email contact. I would like to stay in contact with you.

Thanks again for your input.

Metatron
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 15, 2010 05:55PM)
Metatron
I wish you the best.
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Mar 16, 2010 08:45AM)
It was the Shankars who devised the trick and gave it to Ishamudin. A street magician could not possibly have had the funds - it takes a lot of setting up.

The Sorcar article is fanciful in my opinion. I have spoken to Sorcar jr about this and he is not very convincing on the subject.


[quote]
On 2010-03-13 21:03, maharajademagia wrote:
Metatron, I am behind this trick since more than 20 years. I try and acquire all the information I can. I do not have the money to get old collectables but a very good article on this trick is in the book "Hindu Magic" by P.C. Sorcar Sr. He also believed that it was a trick which was and could be performed and not mass hypnotism. In fact he even gives a very nice piece of hint by suggesting that the famous "Hindu Basket Trick" was the last part of the "Indian Rope Trick". So in fact, with the revival by Ishammuddin we have the first and by Sorcar's suggestion the last part. I am sure that with interest and time someone somewhere will find out or devise the vanishing part. Sorcar is of the opinion that the limbs falling off could have been pulled off by the exchanging a monkey which the magicians carried in his robe when he followed the boy who refused to come down. And what people saw were the limbs of the monkey, who was exchanged for the boy. This could have been possible in 19th century but would be unthinkable today. Who would kill a monkey every time the trick was performed. So I would be more than satisfied if the vanish part is devised and then the boy resurrected from the "Hindu Basket".

I have both "Abbot's Encyclopaedia of Rope Tricks for Magicians" and "The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History" by Peter Lamont. But I do not like the negative attitude of Lamont. This books aims at tracing how the British media converted something non-existing into one of the world's most well known myth. Not a book for you if you are looking for a source on methods. I doubt if a source book exists. Magic in India was passed from father to son or from master to disciple or even more a worthy disciple. So you would not find anything written.

Rjenkins is not correct when he says that at Udipi the Shankars did the trick. It was Ishammuddin who did the trick. Shankar's organised the show and invited the local and international press and magicians at a convention they were organising.

There is another guy in the south who did this trick for the television. I will try and find out the video from him. And there is no one selling plans for it in India, not to mention that magic shops do not exist. But should you be interested I can provide you with Ishammuddin's e-mail. If he is willing to sell, and I guess he has sold the secrete to others like Rajkumar and Hassan or at least taught them the trick, you can take a chance.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Mar 16, 2010 09:49AM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-15 18:55, Al Angello wrote:
Metatron
I wish you the best.
[/quote]

Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Metatron :)
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Mar 24, 2010 12:19PM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-16 09:45, rjenkins wrote:
It was the Shankars who devised the trick and gave it to Ishamudin. A street magician could not possibly have had the funds - it takes a lot of setting up.

The Sorcar article is fanciful in my opinion. I have spoken to Sorcar jr about this and he is not very convincing on the subject.


[quote]

I would contact Ishammuddin and confirm this. But there is not logic into this,inspite of the fact that I think Shankars are great guys why would someone invent and give it to a street magician and not do it himself and apprear on the cover page of all the magic magizines, on television and on BBC.

Sorcar senior was a genius, I have little to say on what Sorcar Jr. has to say about it, though I consider him a great magician but he is no match to his father.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Mar 24, 2010 06:50PM)
I guess because they are great guys. But more pragmatically because they could see that it looked better to be performed by a street magician (that is part of the "myth") than by them with their mainly western style of magic.

And they did actually claim the credit to the BBC (i.e. to me, in this case). And they told me the method. No street magician could have done it.



[quote]
On 2010-03-24 13:19, maharajademagia wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-03-16 09:45, rjenkins wrote:
It was the Shankars who devised the trick and gave it to Ishamudin. A street magician could not possibly have had the funds - it takes a lot of setting up.

The Sorcar article is fanciful in my opinion. I have spoken to Sorcar jr about this and he is not very convincing on the subject.


[quote]

I would contact Ishammuddin and confirm this. But there is not logic into this,inspite of the fact that I think Shankars are great guys why would someone invent and give it to a street magician and not do it himself and apprear on the cover page of all the magic magizines, on television and on BBC.

Sorcar senior was a genius, I have little to say on what Sorcar Jr. has to say about it, though I consider him a great magician but he is no match to his father.
[/quote]
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: durgy (Nov 15, 2010 09:55AM)
Here's a short blog post I posted on it with a video clip from a recent Indian magic show with a magician (Sooraj) performing it:

http://durgyspade.com/blog/2010/11/old-school/