Enigmatic DVDs (Vol 1 and 2) by Alexander de Cova

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Enigmatic DVDs (Vol 1 and 2) by Alexander de Cova

Postby Robbie » Oct 3rd, '08, 13:02

ENIGMATIC by Alexander de Cova

What It Is
Two DVDs, each containing six tricks plus a bonus move. Each volume stands alone, but they were filmed at the same place and time. For the price, you really ought to get both.

I got mine from the Magicbox DVD sale for £9.99 each. Well worth it.

Difficulty varies according to the trick, but generally in the 1-2 range. Nothing much more technical than palming. All tricks have been designed to be as simple as possible to work (see Review section).

The Tricks - Volume 1
ROPING - A three-minute rope routine. Knot visibly jumps off rope, rope knots itself, scissors threaded onto rope cut it, cut rope is restored, two rope rings are linked.
PREMONITION - A card is named and found to be missing from the deck. A letter posted some time before is read and names the missing card.
BAVARIAN BEER GAME - Six glasses on the table are set up randomly by a spectator, one containing beer and the others various denominations of money contributed by spectators. Spectator then moves the glasses around following printed instructions. Spectator gets the beer and magician ends up with all the money.
MASTER SILKS - Two silks are knotted together and placed in a glass bowl. Two others are handed to a spectator. The knot is transferred, so the silks in the bowl are separate and the ones in the spectator's hands are knotted.
STAB IN THE DARK - A card is selected and put away in the box unseen. The magician names it, then puts the deck under a cloth and inserts a knife to find its mate.
RING-O-CHANGE - A spectator's ring vanishes. A second spectator's ring then changes into the first. The second ring is found in a ring box which the first spectator has been holding.
CUP AND BALL MOVE - A bonus move that can be included in any cups-and-balls routine.

The Tricks - Volume 2
MISER'S DREAM - A ridiculously simple method of performing the classic routine.
BOXED TRANSPOSITION - The four queens are placed in the card box. A selected and signed card vanishes from the deck and appears among the queens. One of the queens is cut up and the pieces placed in the box. The signed card becomes the previously cut-up queen (now whole), and inside the box is the signed card cut into pieces.
FORTE X - Three spectators think of cards, and the magician writes down his impressions. The spectators then find their cards in a spread deck. A fourth spectator reads the predictions, which match the selected cards.
POROUS PLASTIC - Coins are placed in a Ziploc bag and pass through one by one. The final coin is removed from the bag and passes into it from the outside.
GROUNDHOG DAY - Two silks of different colours, representing good and bad experiences, are knotted and placed in a glass bowl. Two sets of cards, showing happy and angry faces, are mixed. After "rewinding time" to the beginning of the trick, the silks and cards are now separate again.
BEAN COUNTER - The magician shows a jar half-full of beans, with a folded paper sticking up among the beans. Three spectators guess how many beans are in the jar, choosing the hundreds, tens, and ones digits individually. A fourth spectator removes the paper, on which is written the number of beans, which matches exactly.
TEA TIME - A bonus move to switch a small object such as a folded card or billet while apparently having your hands nowhere near it.

These two DVDs follow the Bavarian magician Alexander de Cova giving a lecture or presentation to a small audience of fellow magicians in a living-room-like setting in the Magikraft studios. After each trick is performed, we cut to de Cova's explanation in the same setting but without an audience.
Rather engagingly, de Cova claims to be a lazy magician with minimal sleight-of-hand skills. He has therefore designed or adapted his tricks with the aim of making them as easy as possible, avoiding anything resembling memory work or sleight of hand.
His explanations are very clear, comprehensive, and easy to grasp. He does have a fairly strong accent, which occasionally gave me a moment's pause, but his English is good and you should have no trouble understanding him.
As well as explaining the workings of each trick, de Cova also describes how he went about devising, designing, or modifying the effect. He is scrupulous about giving credit where it is due for previous ideas that he based his work on.
Technically, the audio and video are very good and clear. The DVD menu is simple but works well, allowing you to choose any individual performance or explanation without rigmarole. (Sounds like a minor point, but a badly functioning menu can be a major irritation.)

Pleasant to watch, and very clear in explanation. There are no knock-down killer effects here, but you do get a good variety of entertaining tricks to choose from, all designed to be as simple and smooth as possible.
8.5 out of 10.

"Magic teaches us how to lie without guilt." --Eugene Burger
"Hi, Robbie!" "May your mischief be spread." --Derren Brown
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