World Class Aladin

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World Class Aladin

Postby Soren Riis » Dec 28th, '06, 01:16



This Thread is about Aladin (with one l’). I mensioned in passing Aladin in another tread, but think we need a special tread where we discuss this great magician!

From his webpage it appears that he is entirely self-taught! Aladin is one of only two Golden Turban members of the Magic Academy of Bangalore, India, guardians of the world's oldest magic tradition. He is also a former International Magician of the Year and has been a Selected Artist at the National Review of Live Arts U.K.

Aladin knew he would be a magician at two and a half years old, when his father vanished his favourite toys into a ceiling light at their home. This was by way of encouraging the young Aladin to follow the example of the assorted objects and go to bed!

Aladin's ventures in entertainment include being commissioned by private clients in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo as well as in London (Hurlingham Club, Sanderson Hotel, Peacock House etc.), opening onstage for artists ranging from Paul Weller to Mark E. Smith, and as Master of Ceremonies and co-organiser of the world's biggest magic event (800 magicians from around the world converging on the city of Bangalore). According to Aladins web site several British and international television channels have projects currently in development involving Aladin as a principal.

I like the following quote by Aladin: (see http://www.magicaladin.com/magic.html for more details)

“Do I have something to 'say' in the context of where I am meant to be performing? I'm not into going into a 'muscle-building convention' situation where you just go in for the audience to 'ooh!' and 'ahh!' over your physique; in other words I can't just bring myself to 'do tricks' to impress. You wouldn't ask a painter to go off and impress you with two colours and a brush."

Let me quote the correspondence that lead to the focus on Aladin.

Soren Riis wrote:
stepSeven wrote:Cheers for the welcome chaps.

Soren, I love OOTW - particularly the impromptu vers. Stonehenge is a new one on me - any recommended reading to pick this one up? I will be buying "Scarne on Card Tricks" very soon (£3.50ish amazon!!), do I need to add more books to my order?

I'm aware of the G-principle but (shamed to say it) haven't explored it. Will put that right over the Xmas holiday.


I know what you mean by the impromptu versions of OOTW, however all version are in fact impromptu!! The setup takes with some practice roughly 30 sec using 1-2 separation (Lennart Green) or "angle separation" (Lennart Green or Harry Lorraine) 20 sec or flip-flop method (Willard) 15 sec. All setup methods can be done under disguise of another effect and no-one ever called me on this.

The most impressive I ever watched was by Aladin (yes, with one l) who is an outstanding world class Indian magician living in Hampstead London (where I also used to live). He could separate all 4 suits under guise of another effect in I would say less than 20 sec. (I think he used a version of angle separation combined with multiple bottom "steals" (bit of smoke added here)). He told me that his handling had impressed Lennart Green and that Lennart did not personally dare to do this! I have tried to replicate his feat but for me its not practical and I would never do it in a performance situation.



Soren Riis wrote:
mindwarrior wrote:holy moly! i finally meet someone who has also seen this guy aladin.

soren riis you mention seeing him do this angle separation nobody else in the world can do. well earlier this year i was in docklands excel centre for the truly horrible (don't go next time) dave's weekend. but was just my incredible luck to be lurking near the poker games when i saw this guy being hustled away as he was firing cards from his bare hands from about 70 yards away and into the area where the tables were. i mean my friends and i were like 'what are you hustling HIM away for?!' as he was clearly having a laugh but also in possession of some just unbelievable skill with cards.

but i don't think he was invited to the party. anyway he has this tall minder guy who rescues him and we trail the two of them until they get to the book of cool stand (you know www.bookofcool.com) and there we got talking. seems he was just dropping in on the book of cool who were doing a promo and we realised he was of course one of the cool people on the product.

anyway aladin gets talking and i ask him how he managed to throw cards so unbelievable far and fast/hard (you have to be there like soren says otherwise you really can't believe it) so he borrows our decks and starts spraying them around the arena. now you need to know the ceiling must be about 40 yards from the ground and he is hitting it with my cards (plastic coated poker size bigger than in england but what gamblers use ;o) ). and when he throws them it is so fast you can't see them until they suddenly stop i guess wind resistance and all then they just fall. so it is only when they fall you notice where they have gone to. and i mean they are out far far away like more than 60 70 yards.

but what completely blew me like with soren was that he took my cards after i shuffled them and just like looked at them except when i bother to look at them after i walk away i thought there was something funny but hell he had put them in suits right across the deck with all the suits separate. we were screaming and ran back.

by the way book of cool is AWESOME too and so is aladin in it but please note he does not do or explain any separations so don't buy it for that. he does though have several neat ways to flick and throw cards i have not seen before. by the way do not buy this either to learn the exact same way he uses TO THROW CARDS AT 100MPH as he did tell us that as it was a little dangerous and so he only showed the less dangerous ways to get cards to fly about 40-50 (as compared to the 70+ we saw) yards in book of cool. but trust me not knowing how to throw the extra 20 yards won't matter.

like soren says aladin separates cards unbelievable but deceptively quickly except he seems quite slow and not really looking or interested. was about 15 seconds it seemed to me i know this sounds stupid as lennart takes longer and does TWO PASSES to separate to 4 suits and aladin just does one pass. wouldn't you say soren that having seen lennart do this aladin's method just leaves the master a little bit in the shade incredible as it is to say? what fools me being in the know is that he only uses one pass! soren i can understand after your explanation that he must have been doing bottom stealing at the same time but man this guy deserves a section of his own in card magic he has just got a freaky skill. this guy's technical ability is just out of this world pardon the phrase. you are just never going to meet somebody with this level of skill .

soren you say he is world class and you seem to know him - he blew our minds and for poker players this is not easy with a deck of cards by the way. we both saw one of the world's greatest magicians.

what do you think about the material he puts out on book of cool? neat presentation of really versatile bottom/top forces if not groundbreakers (this is a general DVD with skateboarding after all) but really superb and beautiful card boomerangs. really elegant. but i still haven't mastered the card spins he does so effortlessly on the tip of a finger - soren can you do this or did you seem him do this? he was doing it all the time but i have to say i couldn't concentrate by this point

maybe as amazing as the magic is that aladin does not seem to bother to do much magic apart from book of cool. he would be huge HUGE draw for an audience. also a really really nice guy generous and very humble surprisingly. great guy wouldn't you say soren? we can consider ourselves to be in a exclusive club.

that has made my night. and by the way until i found this post my buddy and i had seriously been thinking ridiculous and funny explanations for how aladin did all the stuff using my deck.

by the way soren - this guy gave you a lesson in the technique? are you able to tell us some detail or is this unfair on him? there is a great book out called phantoms of the card table by the way about gambling cheat who used an amazing method one day soren and i can write a chapter about the indian phantom.

just a great posting.

mark: the mind warrior


Hi Mind warrior!,
You seem to be new here so welcome to TM. Yes I am very pleased I met Aladin around 2002. Unfortunately I moved from Hampstad shortly after and today I regret very much that I October 2003, were away at a conference when I was invited to a debate, “Is London’s diversity too much of a good thing?” that was chaired by aladin. Besides being an acclaimed magician, Aladin has also worked as a strategist as Ken Livingstone-appointed co-architect of London’s first ever integrated strategy for culture, media, sports, arts, heritage and tourism [www.magicaladin.com].

With Aladin’s method one should under guise of another effect for example be able to perform “J.C.’s Super Closer” (on easy to master card miracles by Micheal Ammar Vol4) impromptu using a borrowed deck! I can also do this but I need essentially to prepare using two effects (rather than just one) that serve as cover for the preparation. Using Aladin’s method one should be able to perform “J.C.’s Super Closer” is less than 30 sec after the spectator has handed you his shuffled deck of cards. For me the preparation takes around 15+25 sec, but it is still quite effective since the spectator is watching some strong magic while this happens and the procedure is done in two parts on the offbeat. In all circumstances the spectators have no idea what is going on! And believe me to do "J.C.’s Super Closer" with a borrowed deck is absolutely killing!!

PS. As you might know there are a few different handlings of J.C.’s Super Closer, that requires a slightly different setup. There is a slight tradeoff between using the most convenient setup or a slightly more awkward setup that is more practical using a borrowed deck, but requires a bit of extra work during the performance of J.C.’s Super Closer.


I will copy and quote some of the posts above and start a new tread about Aladin on "About that magician"



Remark: I edited entry giving the right reference to J.C.’s Super Closer (rather than Dayley last trick which is a different effect).

Last edited by Soren Riis on Jan 2nd, '07, 12:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mindwarrior » Jan 1st, '07, 05:08

i just wanted to add about the cards aladin uses. his personal deck is bicycle but poker size and not the smaller bridge size you get here. i think it was a ghost deck he had in actual fact - it was certainly in the ellusionist box with the amazing ace of spade on white background. the incredible and i guess we can safely say unique separation of the shuffled deck into 4 suits during one hand to hand pass he did with my cards which are unfortunately plastic coated and promotional cards from 888 although but he coped. obviously he might be even slightly quicker in the separation i guess with his own cards - it was under 20 seconds maximum with the stranger deck.

he is a small guy maybe 5 foot 8 inches very strong but elegant fingers. very elegant, handsome man of arab or asian complexion looks about late 20s maybe very short hair shaved i think. one thing which soren you must have noticed is that the way he handles cards is actually quite hypnotic and different to how other magician i have seen before - relaxed and natural not usual magician's rather stiff or self conscious way. the first thing i noticed was that the cards seemed to go through his fingers like sand and generally he lets them run around quite continuously in a flowing way. the way he does his card spin
http://www.bookofcool.com/html/trailerp ... ccards.swf
he doesn't draw attention to it which you would only understand it if you were standing next to him.

as i said before and soren you appear to know he is not your average intelligence. by this i mean that he is not just a man of a giant iq but very intellectual in many subjects. just how he talked about entertainment industry is really interesting although you see he is really more into art.

here is the clip someone put in youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=MNr2v174Zw4

this separation we may as well call aladin separation i have just been thinking about after soren's comments about bottom steals and so on. what is obvious is that the bottom stacking is from the specator's point of view the same action as separating the top stack if you understand that he is doing two angle separations simultaneously. [just imagine if he were a full time magician i can't think what kind of stuff he would be inventing]. he is probably doing incredibly difficult and deceptive magic of other kinds too but as he does not exactly spend time doing public shows or talking with magicians we are not going to experience any of this outside of meeting him in the street or maybe when he is doing stuff in an art gallery.

the card throwing he does not use a grip with a triangle of card poking out between forefinger and middle finger as ricky jay and so on. he kind of cups the card in his right hand - when we say him he actually took the card by the bottom edge in his left hand and then raised it above his right shoulder and cupped it in his right hand gripping while keeping left hand behind the carde. i guess this could be to give it more momentum but you really can't see too much as the card is completely enclosed this way. this way he was throwing over 60 yards easily without a run up or wind up action so i guess he would add some yards with a run up or using a pitcher type action. on the dvd he shows the cards thrown singly from the hand various grips - funny looking pencil grip style clipping the inside top corner with thumb and middle finger below and forefinger above; he snaps the card with a drawing back action which takes it shoulder high and then straight out. i adapted this by exaggerating the upswing to way behind the right shoulder assuming you also are right handed. i can do about 30 yards this way which is anyway impressive enough. on the dvd he only shoots the cards indoors inside a drawing room type room i think youtube says it is sketch.

i would say just based on seeing him doing his aladin separation (i like the fact we have described a technique we have both seen but nobody else has mastered) and the really crazy card throwing that he is totally up there at the pinnacle technically and just sets his own standards. like you quote him soren he 'does not do tricks to impress'. but you realise you are seeing a unique magic genius one, world class and certainly better than some fism card champs. i think he bests lennart green i think we have seen both of them now - aladin has at least same degree of out of this world technique and innovativeness

soren i play poker i am guessing you do too? how is your chess? i like reading about the card cheating methods i buy card books magic books by post is excellent. would you think we could interest aladin in being interviewed by us for a phantoms of the card table kind piece? he has done some interviews but nothing for magicians.

i will reply to your piece about out of this world. we should write down in detail our exact detailed memory of aladin's two performances as these are likely the 'perfect' versions which we can maybe decode the techniques for. or is that not good form to explain all that?

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Postby Soren Riis » Jan 2nd, '07, 00:53

mindwarrior wrote: ....

soren i play poker i am guessing you do too? how is your chess? i like reading about the card cheating methods i buy card books magic books by post is excellent. would you think we could interest aladin in being interviewed by us for a phantoms of the card table kind piece? he has done some interviews but nothing for magicians.

i will reply to your piece about out of this world. we should write down in detail our exact detailed memory of aladin's two performances as these are likely the 'perfect' versions which we can maybe decode the techniques for. or is that not good form to explain all that?


How did you know I am playing chess?? I used to play at an international level. I am also a keen bridge player and like poker but life is limited so I had to focus so I only played a bit of poker (7 card stud).

At http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3465 you can find an article I wrote at chessbase.

I do not think its appropiate to discuss or speculate about the techniques used in the "Aladin" separation (in fact what I wrote did contain some smoke). I see no problems speculating or discussing what can be achieved given such a technique is availeble, however probably such a discussion is better done on using PM. As I said J.C.’s Super Closer is I think a perfect application (especially with a borrowed deck). It just absolutely kills, since 4 different spectators shuffle the cards, and a fifth spectator cuts the shuffles cards in 4 piles. Yet, all kings and aces are found using amaing spelling procedure and as the final kicker all cards are sorted out in the four different suits! To do it with you own card is OK, but an inteligent spectator can usually reconstruct a bit of the method. Preparing using the aladin separation (compromising by disregarding the order of the kings) using a borrowed deck is just SO much stronger.
This is COMPLETELY beoynd what the lay person can accept as possible.


I like the idea of interviewing Aladin, but maybe we should first wait to hear what other magicians think.

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Postby mindwarrior » Jan 2nd, '07, 14:45

soren i am only guessing that you play chess as you seem that type who is strong in logic. my poker is not so different to your experiences i think i am quite strong but find it is getting expensive!

for aladin separation you are of course correct. but these days there are so many blogs and websites discussing techniques that i am wondering if secrecy is necessary. from speaking with aladin he does not seem to be interested at all in secrecy btw.

for the record however we should note that aladin separation can in theory be generally performed in a variety of ways and mainly with borrowed deck if/when aladin performs. so generally this separation should and can be performed in all conditions with borrowed or spectator decks.

i think aladin separation if we could master the technique would be more versatile than say j.c. closer but i would agree with you that it is: COMPLETELY beyond what the lay person can accept as possible.
to be honest it would be beyond belief for majority of card specialists. as we are both very knowledgeable in this category and i am guessing you also have seen lennart green and so we are both capable of his angle techniques. this one is for the history book i think - aladin separation is like gary mason Gazzo's punch second deal in phantoms at the card table i believe nobody would seriously try to master aladin separation just as nobody would seriously try to master punch second deal. maybe painful!

i won't disrespect aladin's innovation with separation by then describing what i think he is doing but would you agree that he must work very hard at making the movements for bottom separation to be identical to top separation ? do you see what i mean - we both know angle separation but in performance we would not notice when aladin must be doing double the separations when he is 'looking through' the cards from right to left.

what i mean is that the two actions are pretty well identical in appearance which is a finesse on top of the mind-numbing technique:

[i have just edited out some text i just wrote detailing to you what i realise aladin must be doing; as you say and i stopped myself it is not appropriate to discuss or speculate]

i have written to him this morning but there was a holiday response - i wrote to him before, just after i had book of cool. i don't know he wants or needs our attention but i feel this level of skill and personality deserve it.

a handshake to you and have a good year. what a wild coincidence too like all the best 'discoveries.

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