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DVD Review: The Session 2007

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DVD Review: The Session 2007
On the January 20th, 2007, serious sleight-of-hand artists from around the world gathered at "The Session." This DVD provides a grab bag of routines, sleights and moves from various magicians who attended the event. As you would expect, the material is mostly about the moves and there’s a strong tendency towards playing cards with lots of sandwich and transposition effects.

Sessioning

Some of the many contributors who provide and explain routines include: Allan Ackermann, Jon Armstrong, Jamie Badman, James Brown, Luke Dancy, Mike Davis, Dynamo, Andi Gladwin, Rob James, Oli Mealing, Robert Moreland and Tyler Wilson. There are also excerpts of an interview with Wayne Houchin, the inventor of “Signed Quarter into the Soda Can,” where he discusses creativity, working with Criss Angel, developing effects and more.

The format is mostly here’s a trick or move and how to do it. Because there’s no question and answer format with a second magician, the explanations tend to be brief. However, anyone who is familiar with basic and advanced sleight of hand can follow along and learn some great material.

Sandwiching

I particularly liked the three-phase sandwich routine by Mike Davis where a selected card transposes between two jacks. Another highlight, card expert Jon Armstrong (who was recently named “Close-Up Magician of the Year”) offers a convincing and powerful sandwich move that is part of his professional repertoire.

I’ve gone on record as saying that I don’t care much for sandwich effects, but Davis and Armstrong have changed my mind. I performed some of this material at my restaurants over the past couple of weeks and it’s been getting a positive reaction.

Miles Nakouzi offers a four-of-a-kind routine where cards, say, four aces, quickly disappear and then reappear. This one is flashy and fast. Dynamo’s “Rubbish Trick” offers a quick card change that happens in a baseball cap. Dynamo fails to find a selected card and throws the card into his hat. When looked at again, the wrong card turns out to be the right card.

Sleight-of-Hand

b]Luke Dancy’s “Firewriter” offers a fun card revelation. Here, Dancy fails to find a selected card. After a lighter is held under the “wrong” card, the image of the correct card is found to be “burned” into the card.

I liked Jamie Badman’s “Flexible Shift,” a utility move that can be used to control a card to the top or bottom of the deck and also used to steal a card or reverse it. This move has lots of possibilities. It’s an unusual “side-steal” type of move with an unconventional technique.

Something that doesn’t involve playing cards, I liked Nigel Qualter’s “Cut and Restored iPod Cable.” Here, Qualter takes the traditional cut and restored rope and creates an impromptu effect where he slices the cable of a spectator’s iPod and then restores it. No harm, no foul. A timely and entertaining adaptation of a classic.

A knuckle buster, Rob James offers “Moving Pip,” a fast color change that is challenging to perform, as is his four ace production. Andi Gladwin offers still another flashy four ace production in “Road Trip.”

Elevated

Robert Moreland’s “Inverted Elevation” offers a four ace transposition effect. Here he teaches a particularly nice color change that may be used in place of the traditional Erdnase move. A “collector” effect, John Carey offers “Slo-Mo Collections” where four aces find three selected cards by sandwiching them, one-by-one.

Oli Mealing offers a flashy spin of a card that is a nice flourish. Here he tosses the card from behind the back and catches it in the front. Mealing also explains “Switch Trick,” a mind-reading and transposition card effect, as well as “Mealing Peeling,” his card switch and control.

Allan Ackermann performs and teaches an impressive table routine that combines several effects. Four of a kind are “twisted”-the individual cards turn over, one-by-one-in his hands. The cards then change into a royal flush and the original four of a kind is found in the deck. At the end, the four-of-a-kind are used to sandwich (locate) a previously selected card.

Because the artists drive the routines that they present, the material is varied. If you’re into serious card magic, you’ll probably find material that you will like. I did.

On the downside, $50 for a DVD is rather expensive. But if you find one move or routine that you can use, the DVD is worth the price. But for the money, I would be more inclined to purchase a DVD by a known magician who’s work I wanted to learn.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $50

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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