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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Vintage Footage of Indian Rope Trick! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Metatron
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Port Orchard, Washington
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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
Pete Biro
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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.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Metatron
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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
jolyonjenkins
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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.
Jolyon Jenkins
Metatron
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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
jolyonjenkins
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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.
Jolyon Jenkins
maharajademagia
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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.


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.
maharajademagia
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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.
Metatron
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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 Smile ! 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
Al Angello
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Metatron
I wish you the best.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
jolyonjenkins
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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.
Jolyon Jenkins
Metatron
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Quote:
On 2010-03-15 18:55, Al Angello wrote:
Metatron
I wish you the best.


Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Metatron Smile
maharajademagia
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[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.
jolyonjenkins
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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.

Jolyon Jenkins
durgy
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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/
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