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Sleeving (2 DVD Set) Review

Official Review

July 14th, 2020 12:18am
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Sleeving” is a two DVD set that teaches, as one might expect, sleeving, for both close up and the stage. It stars the 2015 FISM Stage award winner, Lukas, and 2015 FISM Close Up award winner, Seol Park. The contents include theory, technique and routines, both close up and for the stage, that utilize sleeving, as well as some fundamental non-sleeving techniques used in many of the routines.

Disk one covers sleeving for the stage. The disc begins with some basic technique and manipulation using billiard balls, silks and cards. This section is a bit confusing, as it contains no discussion of sleeving, though it becomes apparent this is to provide a foundation for the sleeving techniques and routines taught later. The instruction is adequate, though at times a bit fast, particularly when Lukas teaches complex techniques like split fans and the production of single and multiple cards. These moves are included to make the production complete, as the ability to do these maneuvers is required to be able to perform the routines later taught. And while a brief overview is appropriate for foundational sleights unrelated to the main topic of sleeving, if one is going to teach something, pains should be taken to make the instruction as complete as possible. Additionally, multiple camera angles, particularly a view from the front with some of the ball techniques, would have added much to the instruction. Lastly, the instruction lacks a bit of organization, and at times it isn’t even clear at the beginning of a section what will actually be taught.

Next on the disc are a variety of basic routines with billiard balls, silks and cards. The methods taught are very smart and, combined with Lukas’ extraordinary timing, create some beautiful and deceptive magic that, done well, doesn’t belie the use of sleeving at all. A great deal of content is provided, with much of it being simple in approach, while remaining very effective. Unfortunately, the instruction continues to be a bit incomplete at several points, and leaves out some critical information, including how to get into and out of the routines. Additionally, given that Lukas’ costume is black, having the studio background be black as well makes portions of the instruction difficult to follow. Lastly, one of the routines, a particularly visual effect using a transparent tube (one featured on the trailer), requires an expensive gimmick to perform. This is by no means a deal breaker, but something some purchasers may find worth knowing.

A section on theory is next on the disk, which begins with a discussion of fine points and subtleties, followed by a section on costume design, an important element in sleeving that is rarely discussed. This continues with more traditional theory, where some of the most valuable information on the disk is shared. Here Lukas addresses one of the most important and challenging elements of sleeving: how to eliminate suspicion of sleeving in the first place. This includes a discussion of the importance of effective retrieval of objects, as well as some very innovative thinking around providing the audience with an image on which to focus that takes their attention away from the sleeve. This idea is extremely valuable and by itself can make even basic sleeving technique much more effective.

The final section on disc one is an explanation of four routines from Lukas’ professional repertoire. Each routine is an extraordinary example of the power of combining gimmicks with clever methods, deep thought, technical manipulation and sleeving. The construction of these routines is worth serious study as they are some of the most deceptive and magical “sleeving based” routines I’ve seen. This section of the DVD was truly eye opening and an absolutely highlight for me.

Disc two covers sleeving for the close up performer. It begins with an introduction to the flipstick move and some standard applications. The instruction on this disc is already a step improved from that on disc one, including not just the organization of the material, but with the inclusion of the use of a transparent shirt sleeve to better illustrate what happens during the routines. This first section includes effects where a sharpie pen changes colors, turns into a ball, a chapstick, as well as shrinks. This is followed by an innovative approach to sleeving, where the pen is sleeved as it’s picked up from the table. Next are direct vanishes, done with minimal cover. Lastly two beautiful, dynamic and striking techniques are taught, each of which has the pen vanish while being flourished. These last two are particularly magical in appearance. Along the way, a variety of effects using these additional sleights are taught, including color changes, transformations and transpositions.

Next some basic routines are taught, including a triple color changing pen, done on the table as well as standing, two effects where a sharpie changes both color and shape, as well as routines using a small perfume bottle and chapstick. The routines vary in quality, with some being more organic, well designed and logical than others, but overall there are a number of very interesting ideas worth exploring.

A section on theory for close up sleeving follows. Clearly Mr. Park has given a great deal of thought to this topic and has a number of great suggestions and observations focused on, as with Lukas, natural and justified movements, focus, ways to eliminate sleeving tells, and costuming.

Mr. Park then teaches several of his signature routines, including his approach to a pen and coin routine, two versions of the cups and balls, a fascinating approach to a version of the “light and heavy chest,” and bill in pen. There is something of value to be learned from each routine, though none are without flaw (the pen and coin routine is overly fast and a bit confusing, the cups and balls is a bit repetitive, and his thumbtip technique is a bit lacking.) However, there are some truly delightful, surprising and wonderful ideas that very much push the boundary of close up sleeving forward.

While the organization of the material and how it is taught could use improvement, “Sleeving” is overflowing with content, much of which is of extraordinary quality. The stage material is extremely deceptive and demonstrates very clever construction, while the close up content puts forth new techniques and new plots. If you are interested in sleeving, whether close up or onstage, there is good, groundbreaking and useful material on this set that is worth your study. Recommended.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Sleeving (2 DVD Set)

Author: Park, Seol; Lukas
Publisher: Lukas
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $80.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"Poetic. Artistic. Lukas elevates the art of magic with every card he produces."
- Jeff McBride

"Lukas is one of those rare souls who elevates the art of magic to the level of fine art. Prepare to be inspired!"
- Charlie Frye

"His performance is sentimentally full of passion, with his own poetry. Lukas presents something beautiful in visual figure."
- Juliana Chen

"I saw it right before my eyes and I could not work out how it was done. This is no trickery, it's true sorcery."
Mr. Maric

Introducing "Sleeving," the new collaboration project from Lukas Crafts.

The definitive project on sleeving for close-up or stage! From classic techniques to modern evolution! It's all contained within this two DVD set. Everything you need to know about sleeving. Watching the video is essential!

Lukas Crafts has produced an incredible project that is the definitive authority on sleeving. Sleeving can be considered the closest thing to real magic that can be performed! Why - because it's instantaneous, visual and happens right in front of your eyes. When you watch professionals like these - even when you know how it's done - you brain will short circuit! It's that good.

What makes this product even more amazing? It features two contemporary award winning magicians Lukas and Seol Park. Lukas (2015 FISM Stage Winner) & Seol Park (2015 FISM Close-up Winner). Together they not only share their techniques, ideas and theory, but there are routines and acts that you could actually perform on stage.

Included in the DVD are many sleights and basic sleeving techniques, a theory session from each magician about their thoughts on sleeving, and many professional routines that you can ultimately practice and perform.

1) Lukas of Wonder
2) D

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