A Preface by Roberto Giobbi Chapter Fo ur: His Mentors Mentors Four Aces Dany Ray Fu Manchu
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A Preface by Roberto Giobbi Chapter Fo ur: His Mentors Mentors Four Aces Dany Ray Fu Manchu Or perhaps I should say: Arturo de Ascanio gave an academic talk on the scientific and artistic structure of a piece to borrow a Hofzinser expression. Arturo explained to us every movement and each word that he used in the routine, why he did this rather than that, where you had to look and where not to look and, above all, for how long.
He also discussed when to tighten and relax your body, and even at what angle the feet which were under the table! I immediately understood that the impression the trick just performed had made on all of us was, clearly and without the shadow of a doubt, due to the understanding and conscious applicJtion of the underlying cJuses.
Need I say I was impressed? Obviously the concept proposed by the originator remained, but Arturo 's scientific analysis and artistic interpretation elevJted it to J new height and brought it into another dimension.
Listening to the explanJtion of a trick by Arturo is like reJding philosophy. It's not just Jbout content and it's not just about form. It's Jbout something intangible created as J product of the two: about a third dimension that creJtes depth and instills life to an otherwise flat picture. He makes you stop and ponder Jbout notions thJt are fundJmental, and not only Jbout magic. I loved listening to Arturo when he talked personally and also to read whJt he wrote as this gives me a chJnce to stop Jnd follow my own thoughts that were triggered by Jn utterance of his.
This is not to say that there arc no other magic geniuses around- there were Jnd there still are, of course. And how even more immensely fortunate am I to have had the privilege of listening to their wisdom and seeing their art performed. But none of them had Arturo's ability to be broad and deep, and at the same time speak consciously and precisely about all those aspects that make a person a genius: a discipline, an art, Jncl at the sJme time J science.
And this is good enough to make good artists. Over two decades have passed in which I have learned to appreciate the d 'pth of Arturo's genius. The famous Alex Elmsley was the guest of honor.
Nobody will ever forget the moment on Sunday morning when Arturo gave his traditional personal performance which this time included some of Elmsley's most brilliant conceptions: All Backs and Ambitious Stranger which arc, indeed, described in the third volume of The Magic oi Ascanio.
To those who saw the performance nothing needs to be said; to those who didn't see the performance nothing can be said. Arturo's analysis of presentation, construction, technique and handling of these two themes had given birth to two completely new routines.
At the end two masters shook hands in mutual respect. Arturo never cared for quickies. He periormed opulent masterworks that required time and an attentive audience. I do not merely speak for myself, but for a fairly large group of people, specifically for those of the Escuela Magica de Madrid, when I say that Arturo has shifted paradigms; he has remolded and, what is more, created new beliefs concerning magic.
Sometimes by the sole usc of a specific word he has opened the door to a new concept. What is amazing to me, is the fact that many of these concepts were not invented by him, but he saw them, took them, named them, arranged and rearranged them, and built them into a castle, a solid castle into which others were generously invited in to share his insights-and it turned out that this cJstle WJS the JCJclemy of the art of mJgic. These extraordinJry books Jre the blueprints of this unique building.
I cajole myself into the illusion thJt the only thing I did WJS to put it in better words than most hJve done in the past-Jnd with this I reveal J healthy portion of Ascanian immodesty which influenced me, too. Arturo is the fJther of a new kind of magic. It allows you to show four cards or three while concealing one or more extra ca rds. This is accomplished through an exceptionally loose and clear handling, seldom seen in card magic.
The original name of the move, still in use and widely known in th e Spanish-speaking magic community is El Culebreo, which can be translated as The Wriggle. The move became known worldwide as the Ascanio Spread, which is the name Fred Kaps gave it. Along with the Elmsley Count, this move is one of the tools which have contributed the most to strengthen packet tricks or tricks using a small number of cards.
Since Arturo kept devising new handlings for the Ascanio Spread through the years, we shall offer here an in-depth study of the Spread and its variations. We' ll begin with the regular version, whose constant application in Ascanio's routines is an excellent example of its many uses.
We will be referring you to the illustrations for the tricks in question for a better understanding of the various techniques. M magazine of the S. Through extraction by the left forefinger A packet of apparently four cards is held by the ends, by your palm-up left hand, with one of the long edges toward you.
Using both hands, the cards are spread in a loose and somewhat elastic fashion, as they are careless ly made to rotate and slide among themselves, to be shown as only four cards.
The cards are kept in motion up to the moment when they are resquared. It is unthinkable that the magician could be keeping any control on the cards, or that the handling could have been thought out and choreographed, or that one of those cards moving so loosely cou ld be a double.
And yet the technique is fai rl y simple and easy to execute. Before delving into the study of the move and to make it easier for you to follow the explanation, pick up the five cards that are to be shown as four.
The card to be kept concea led is in the third position. To make the explanation clearer we will refer to the top card as card 1.
The second and third cards from the top, which are. The next card wi II be card 3 and the one on the bottom will be card 4. The left hand holds the 5-card packet face down in an almost horizontal position, with one of the sides towards you.
The packet must be perfectly. The left thumb rests against the left short edge of the packet while the tips of the middle and ring fingers hold it at the opposite short edge. The left forefinger is curled underneath, with the nail in contact with the bottom card. The right hand squares the packet by the sides, with the thumb at the inner long edge and the middle finger at the outer, sliding along those edges once or twice.
During these actions, the tip of the right forefinger lightly sl ides along the back of the top card. The right thumb and middle finger end up holding the packet by the long edges, close to its right end Fig. The left hand moves away for an instant. Then the tip of the left ring finger makes contact with the right half of the face of the bottom card. The right forefinger rests lightly against the same spot from above. As the hands separate, the left ring finger slides card 4, disengaging it from the rest of the packet, which remains perfectly squared.
Card 4 is moved inwards as well as to the left, enabling the left thumb and forefinger to effortlessly make contact with the inner left end of the packet, near the outer left corner Fig. The left thumb now rests on the left end somewhat firmly to keep the packet squared th roughout the disengagement of card 3.
At the same time, the right thumb and middle finger open slightly at their outer joints to relax their grip on the bottom ca rd of the packet and grip the upper cards more fi rml y Fig. This allows the left forefinger, which cu rl s sli ghtly, to slide ca rd 3 to the left without disturbing the squared condition of the right-hand packet Fig.
To separate the last card, the left thumb alters its position, leaving the left end and resting flatly on the left half of the back of card 1 Fig. Once card 1 is disengaged, the left thumb draws it inward while the right middle finger stretches and the thumb swivels to the right while the right hand moves forward with card 2 the double , bringing it to a somewhat diagonal position Fig.
The four cards are now spread. To review the order in which the left fingers perform their actions. The ring finger begins by disengaging card 4. Next, the forefinger does likewise with card l. The thumb follows immediately with card 1. The double card continues to be lightly but securely held by the right thumb and middle finger. Although the spreading of the card has a sequence, it should be carried out with such smoothness and continuity that the cards appear to be spread in a single action in a casual and unplanned fashion.
Without pausing, the spread cards are then displayed loosely and in motion, which is what prevents the onlookers from suspecting the existence oi any secret action in accordance with the disarming looseness concept.
The movement is lively, undulating and wriggly, hence the Spanish name Ascanio gave it. Starting from the position shown in Fig.
The left middle, ring and little fingers slide card 4 inward, and the left forefinger, in contact with the underside of card 3, draws that card slightly inward. In other words, card 1 moves forward through a broad movement of the left thumb while cards 3 and 4 move inward through a much smaller action of the left fingers Fig.
While the left fingers move as described, the right hand moves card 2, starting from the position seen in Fig. The right middle finger curls inward and the right thumb moves from right to left, causing the double card to pivot clockwise from the position shown in Fig. Keep in mind that the actions described in paragraphs 6 and 7 take place simultaneously, and are coordinated so that when card 1 reaches its forward position, card 2 should be pointing at 11 o'clock as seen in rig.
Note that the movement of the double card is quite simple and short, and the double is always held by its edges. Although this doesn't do anything disarming, it goes unsuspected by blending into the whole combination of wriggling cards. At this point, it is advisable to make a brief pause to mark the ending of the display.
In certain cases you may want to display the spread cards in a fan held by the left hand. To reach that configuration, keep the leit-hand cards still, while the right hand places card 2 in a position parallel to the other cards, or pushes it between cards 1 and 3. The right hand then moves away and the cards are displayed in a fan in the left hand as seen in Fig. From the position shown in Fig. To do this, the left thumb moves inward in a swift motion sliding card 1, which is the one that moves the most to a position in front of the left little finger.
The other left fingers slide cards 3 and 4 slightly forward. From the position of Fig. To do this, the left thumb moves card 1 forward, and the right hand, at the same time, brings card 2 forward so it points to a 9 o'clock position Fig.
It is often necessary to change the position of the double card in the spread, for example from the second position it occupies to the third position between cards 3 and 4. The ideal moment to do this is when closing the spread, through a small rocking motion of the right hand.
That hand first moves inward to disengage the double from its second position, and then moves forward again to insert it at the desired position, usually between cards 3 and 4.
The Magic of Ascanio Volume 1 The Structural Conception of Magic
Posted: Jul 12, am. I am interested in discussing Spanish and Latin American magic, magicians, history and related topics. I am not sure where to post but figured I'd start here! Anyone have a similar interest and like to discuss this topic?
Arturo de Ascanio - The Magic of Ascanio Vol 2.pdf
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