THE BALDUCCI LEVITATION
According to Mike Close in his"Marketplace" column in the June 1997issue of Magic Magazine, " . . . all thecurrent self-levitations have their basisin two articles published by Karl Fulves.The first titled "Impromptu Levitation"can be found in the July1974 issue of the Pallbearer's Review(Volume 9, Number 9, page 755.) EdBalducci is credited in the article, but heexplains that he was shown the method by Erwin Levine, who was one of theHarmonicats. Mr. Levine had no ideawho the originator was."
A Quick Note About David Blaine
As mentioned above, David Blaine isnot the originator of this illusion. He hasmade the illusion popular, once again,with his recent television special,"David Blaine: Street Magic." Theunfortunate reality is, however, that wenever really get to see Blaine performing the Balducci Levitation. Wewatch several times as Blaine performsit for others, but we never get to see itfor ourselves.For the television special, Blaine performed the Balducci levitation infront of several different groups of people, and the camera was there tocatch their reaction. The method he usedfor this is the Balducci method,described below. While videotapingthese various performances, the producers keyed in on the audiencemembers with the most visual reaction.After the Balducci levitation, the producers of the show had these same people stand by for another taping of theillusion - this time the camera wouldshoot from behind the audiencemembers to get aclear view of Blaine in action. Theaudience members were told that thissecond performance was to show themhow magicians could use wires tolevitate.And this is exactly whathappened. A small harness and rig (justout of camera view) was set up andBlaine performed a standard wire-suspension. What Blaine did was a camera trick -known as a post-production edit. Theaudience at home watched the second(wire suspension) levitation performance, with the audience reactionof the real levitation edited in. It wassaid, in the television special, that nostrings or wires were used to performBlaine's levitation. This is true, no wiresor strings are required. Unfortunately,we never got to see Blaine's reallevitation:WE SAW A WIRE-SUSPENSION !