The Magic of Spain Ascanio

by Arturo de Ascanio

The magic world lost one of its finest thinkers when Arturo de Ascanio y Navaz died in April. His passing was even more poignant to those of us who had recently spent time with him at the Desert Magic Seminar. Very little of Ascanio's material has been made available in English, but fortunately, Stevens Magic Emporium captured on video the maestro performing and explaining three of his classic card routines.

This tape could be subtitled "The Masterful Handling of Double Cards," because the fluid, casual, and totally convincing handling of two-cards-as-one provides the backbone of all three routines. None of the techniques explained are particularly easy, but in Ascanio's hands they are a joy and a wonder to behold.

"Dama Inquieta (Restless Lady)" is the first routine on the video, and it is a "Homing Card" type of routine. It is very rare for me to completely miss someone palming a card, but I did in this routine. The handling was so natural and motivated that the palm went right by me. What makes this such a strong routine is that Ascanio's handling of double cards convinces you that no extra cards are being used.

"Ases con Amor (Aces with Love)" is Ascanio's handling of the Vernon "Slow Motion Ace Assembly." Ascanio has added beautiful bits of finesse to what was already an extremely strong routine. The ace laydown itself is a thing of beauty. Finally, the tape concludes with "Ases de mi Examen (Aces of my Exam)," which is a Stanley Collins type ace routine in which each of the aces vanish in a different way. Although Ascanio makes reference to the method by which he reproduces the aces, this procedure is not performed or explained on the tape.

Ascanio performs and explains these routines in Spanish. Eric De Camps provides the excellent voice-over translation. An audience was in attendance, but is not present on screen.

This is card magic of the highest caliber, and for that reason will be of most interest to intermediate and advanced card magicians. Ascanio's explanations (and Eric's translations) are the for the most part clear and understandable, although every now and then a move will slip by without a full explanation by Ascanio. This can be confusing, because Ascanio's handling of double cards is so superb that it's impossible to tell which card(s) are the doubles. You can figure it out, but you'll need to hit the rewind button a few times.

Like the Tamariz videos, The Magic of Spain - Ascanio allows us to spend time with another of magic's great thinkers, one who also knew that art is in the details. Master the sleights and finesses presented here, and your card magic will be elevated to the highest level. Highly recommended.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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