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Topic: Utopia Review 2/4
Message: Posted by: magician102 (Oct 21, 2011 03:14AM)
And we're off to the races… having imbibed enough caffeine to keep me up after a long day of work and less than enough sleep, I was extremely excited to start disc 2.

After watching all of disc 2 - I can say that through this and the first disc, the most important recurring theme in the material is I truly believe it to be worker status material as well as a structure that allows for different presentations to make the material your "own."

I can only imagine how many hours I'll spend rewatching this material - both performance nad explanations diving into the details of how Dani handles cards and how the routines are structured. This is a monumental DVD set.


Dani takes us through some of his fascinations in magic. Each section is given a tiny introduction where Dani briefly talks about WHY he finds this topic fascinating. I found these sections to be full of what are clearly succinct summaries of some very interesting philosophical discussions/theories of magic.

Torn and Restored:
Dani finds these tricks fascinating for their obvious symbolism of life and death as well as expectation… when a card is torn the spectator, rightly, expects it to be restored… usually with a card trick the spectator can answer with "well you switched it quickly… with torn and restored this is not a possibility"

Time Travel:
A number is named, a card is torn, and corner kept for spectator.
The torn pieces of the card disappear, minus the corner, because we've gone back in time to where the card is back at the position which the spectator originally named. This trick had me double-take, despite my knowing it was a torn and restored card. Phenomenal construction for an impromptu T&R card routine.

T&R Chink a Chink:
I'm really excited for this routine, one of the best motivations for tearing a card and restoring it I've ever seen, with more magic than just the restoration. Brilliant thinking.

Flash Restoration:
A quick/simple restoration, with several ideas for presentation. One of which I found to be absolutely devious, something that can be used for more than just T&R routines.

Deceptive Perception:
Magic is what happens in the spectator's brain, not what they see. If they see normal things, they don't realize the deception that is occuring.

Aces on the Deck:
Another performance that had me completely taken aback. The explanation had me laughing in disbelief due to it's simplicity and elegance.

Imaginary Pendulums:
An incredible, non-gaffed brainwave/red hot mama style effect. I figured this one out, but the thinking behind it is amazing. Something devious, but really simple that I want to try for friends in the near future.

Some ideas/concepts with visual perception. From being able to cull an entire suit, ordering a suit, to showing a suit as completely mixed and actually having it in order. Then some ideas of how to play with spectator focus. All of these ideas are solid, and most of them completely fooled me despite my having seen some of these techniques before.

The Double Card:
To briefly paraphrase Dani: showing 4 cards vs elmsley counting 4 card causes the spectator to not have to think. Similarly, if any spectator ever suspects/sees a double lift, they assume they know all routines, because at any time you could have an extra card, therefore displays are extremely important.

Twice Ahead:
A great version of "one step behind" which doesn't require the last choice to be forced. In addition the cards are in the correct order when you need to show them at the end. Simple and sweet.

Mentalism By Elimination:
Dani's take on Ascanio's routine. Impromptu, from a shuffled deck and allows for a lot of improvisational spectator byplay.

Four Fly:
A beauty to watch. Yes, it's a 3-fly with cards instead of coins.

Aces Production:
Magical. "Very easy, like all" says Dani. I think it's well within the reach of most magicians and quite beautiful. Being able to do it at speed, is definitely no easy task.

Chink-a-Chink Cards:
A matrix using cards instead of coins.

Dani's version of Hofzinser tricks… He loves Hofzinser, and wants to share his genius.

Number Problem:
Completely fooled me. I didn't stand a chance, and it's well within the reach of most.

A beautiful take on Everywhere and Nowhere. With NO duplicates/gaffed cards.

Chosen Suit:
A very full of play/jokes, nongaffed approach to the Chosen Suit problem.

2 Deck Trick:
Dani is a genius. Having played with this effect, Dani's version makes a ton of sense. A great revision of this effect.

Remember and Forget:
A different version of the effect in this month's Genii, a special version for one spectator instead of three. This is another FASDIU, impromptu effect. Some great subtle touches; useful for ANY card magic.

Interview 2/4:
Ironically an answer to the question where does originality/creativity begin, and where is the line between that and influence (I just posted a quote/question on the Café earlier). A Hofsinzer book to be coming forth from Juan/Dani/Miguel Gea!!! I'm stoked.

Again, cute but unnecessary.

Same as before.

Trying to not make the same mistake as yesterday, will be going to bed early tonight, probably not watching disc 3 till Saturday… magic show/performance tomorrow, though part 3/4 will be coming this weekend guarenteed.
Message: Posted by: John Carey (Oct 21, 2011 11:43AM)
Thank you my friend.

Message: Posted by: magician102 (Oct 21, 2011 12:18PM)
It's my pleasure to do it... After I finish all 4 reviews - I'll go back and be more critical of the routines... I'm not so biased that I like _everything_, but I find it hard to compare without knowing what else is on the dvds. Also I do believe everything to be real "worker" material from Dani's repertoire.