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Dance Of Shiva, The Review

Official Review

June 11th, 2004 12:02pm
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
I've had this sitting here for weeks while I dreaded writing the review. Not because I think it is horrendous, but because I thought it would be. Let me explain why before I get to the review.

About a year ago I saw one of my dear friends, an extremely well-know magician, doing a similar effect (by another author). By "similar" I mean the type of effect where you "read" a billet right in front of the audiences' eyes, while all of the focus is on you. When I saw my friend do this, all I could think was: "all this hand-waving to cover the peek is ridiculous and does more to expose the method than to hide it." Needless to say, I thought it sucked.

I continued on my merry way believing that billet reading should be done on the off-beat, when the audience isn't burning your hands. I still believe this. However, Dance of Shiva has shown me that it probably is possible to do it right in front of them.

Of course, I wasn't convinced just be reading it. In fact, I had to read it three or four times before I grokked exactly what I was supposed to do. The descriptions aren't very clear, but then again, it's always difficult to produce such a detailed description in print.

Once I got the moves down, I tried it in front of the mirror. I was genuinely surprised. All of the moves looked natural! It could actually work!

With all of that out of the way, I'll spend my last few words addressing the pros and cons of this effect, as I see them:


  • All you need is a business card and a pen. No special wallets, pads, or equipment.
  • The billet stays in full view the whole time.
  • There are no "weird moves".
  • The billet is not ripped or destroyed prior to the reading. In fact, your helper can hold onto it while you do the reading.
  • There are 6 pages of interesting notes on presentational and handling strategies.


  • You need to be selective in your choice of business card material. My cards are made of a heavy stock that makes this method very difficult. Of course, you can also use materials besides a business card.
  • There's a setup that can be done in front of the audience, but is a bit involved and will need some verbal cover. Setting up before-hand means you start off with a pre-folded business card, which I'm not convinced is a good idea. Personally, I think I'd go for a simple switch.
  • There is very little discussion about how and when to actually do the peek. To me, this is the crux of the method and if it's caught, it won't matter if the rest of the method is deceptive.
  • While one can never put a price on good information, a $45 price tag seems a bit high for my tastes. But then I think most mentalism effects are hugely overpriced, so it's probably just my own personal hangup.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Dance Of Shiva, The

Author: Docc Hilford
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $45.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Imagine this: you ask someone to think of a line from their favorite poem. Something you could not possibly know. They write the sentence across the center of their business card. They fold it and drop it on the table. You pick it up, tighten the creases, and place it in their palm. Actions that take less than five seconds. The folded card never leaves their view.

In that brief time, you have read the entire sentence right in front of the spectator! After revealing the secret information, the card can be opened, checked, and even shown to the spectator!

You don't have to tear up the paper in order to get the information like a Center Tear. You only use the single billet! There isn't any switching.

The Dance of Shiva delivers the information to you as fast as you can read it, but keeps it in view for as long as you need. No quick glances. The same billet is always in view. You use only your hands and the paper or card. You don't shield the card at any time. The Dance of Shiva can be used to answer questions, duplicate designs, in word tests with actual book pages, with playing cards, maps or about any creative mental effect where secret information is needed.

  • It doesn't seem possible, but The Dance of Shiva does exactly that. The Dance
  • of Shiva has these important features:
  • No special props; you're always ready.
  • It can be done surrounded or standing.
  • There is no need for a dummy or duplicate billet.
  • No need to openly tear the billet apart to get the information as in the Center tear.
  • No tilting or squeezing of the billet - not a peek!
  • The folded billet never leaves the sight of the sitter.
  • The information is read in front of the sitter, not on your lap or behind
  • something.
  • No windows cut in the card; it can be THEIR business card.
  • There is no switching.
  • The information is in front of you, so you do not have to read quickly.
  • You are absolutely clean before and after the effect.
  • It takes less than 5 seconds to reveal the writing.
  • The method can be repeated for the same audience!
  • The written information is in the center of the card as it logically should be.
  • When writing, the sitter has complete freedom to handle the card.
  • Unlike anything previously invented by anyone, REALLY!
  • Plus 16 additional original effects and handling tips.
  • Easy to do - but reserved for real professionals.

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