Dominique Duvivier is one of the veteran magicians from France who is well-known in the international magic community.
I was introduced to his magic in my formative years in magic. However, while he is no doubt creative, his style or material never really appealed to me so he was not an influence in my learning of magic. This is probably the 2nd or 3rd video that I have watched of Dominique, but it is my first offical review.
The first DVD is a live formal 60min close-up show filmed in 2004, similiar to a Magic Castle close-up room environment. It is performed in Dominique’s native language but you can opt for an English real-time translation. The translation does not really affect the enjoyment of the magic although some situational comedy elements may be lost in translation.
The show opens with a production/ prediction of a drink in a tall shot glass from a tradtional change bag, followed by a production of a drink for himself (“The Drink”/ “The Magician Drink”). The method is a lot of preparation work and extensive but I’m not sure how strong the effect is for an audience.
His follow-up was a find-a-card effect he calls “The Feeling”. He performs “The Invisible Palm” uses a wallet (this is a straightforward simple routine, not the traditional Invisibile Palm routine.
In “The 4 Queens”was a version of the classic Jennings routine where a signed card between two queens transpose back and forth. I found it a a bit confusing and suspect.
“The coins into glass” is a coins across plot with four coins but into a glass instead. The handling was standard, by standard I refer to Roth’s handling in “Expert Coin Magic”. But Dominique did say he developed the routine years ago.
Dominique is known for his Okito Coin Box work and this routined showed why. It was my favourite routine till this point in the show and it involved a coins through table effect with a small brass cylindrical box. There are several surprises in the routine that makes it different from others. And the Duvivier Coin Box is ingenius.
“The Deck that Shuffles Itself” is a novel face-up/ face-down routine where the orientation of the cards in a deck changes over and over again. The audience interaction is good in the context of the effect and the effect is very strong. Making this up will take time but it will be worth it.
Dominique is also known for his misprinted card effects (like Daryl’s “Presto Printo”) and “The Spontaneous Trick” is one of them. If you like this type of effect, you will like this.
“The Wild Card” is his handling of the Peter Kane effect. While the basic plot is the same, there is LOTS of different things going on. And he ends with all the cards and deck open for examination.
“The Safety Pins” – I felt this looked more like a puzzle that magic but it did have some puzzling moments. But I can see how one can use his method to come up with their own routines.
“Eddy Taytelnaum’s Dice” is something I have never seen before. It looks like the classic block through block penetration in a square tube but it uses dice. The secret is devious and brilliant. Unfortunately, this effect is not made anymore, as far as I know.
“Persi of D” is a fantastic triple card selection that is beautifully crafted and very strong. The handling is economical and exquisite that ends clean.
Dominique is also known for his cups & balls and this time he presented them with three Johnny Paul cups and two sponge balls. The shape of his cups and the sponge balls allows him to do some unorthodox moves.
He did an encore item that involved a floating bill above a mini Arabian carpet. I felt it was a tad lackluster as an encore.
While Dominique’s style may not be yours, it is the lessons of his close-up show production that makes this DVD invaluable for the close-up magician. It is an eye opener to see how such a formal close-up show is structures and produced, even if you never perform such a formal shows.
The acts that I can remember that have similar structure, detail and set-up (but not as extensive) are John Cornelius’ FISM Card Act and Paul Gertner’s FISM Act.
He had instances where there were call backs to earlier routines that gelled the show together. It also demonstrated how he thought through the show so that different effects were related to each other.
His approach of “families” of effects in magic represented by routines is a strategy to create a rich and textured performance.
5 out of 5 stars because of the lessons in routining a full close-up show, organizing props seamlessly and secretly throughout the show, setting up the load/ show bag and more than a handful of creative ideas.
You can buy it here from Ning’s sexy Magic Boutique here.
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