Balducci Levitation : Levitation? How is this Even Possible?
First described by the legendary Ed Balducci, the Balducci levitation or balducci magic is a sophisticated type of magic whereby the subject – in this case – the performer appears to virtually float or sometimes walk ( levitate ) in the air. It is an impromptu magic trick that has popularized over the years by legendary magicians such as Paul Harris, David Blaine, and David Roth. Balducci Magic is said to be one of the oldest magic tricks that is commercialized. There is also a specific balducci rising card trick that is quite famous.
Wondering how this is even remotely possible? Well, here is a quick primer on that.
How the Magic Works
The magician or performer stands a few meters from the audience. For this to work, the audience/observers have to stand close or sit close together such that all have a similar view of the magician’s feet. This way, they can see an entire whole foot of the performer but only the hill of the other one. It is imperative for the viewers to get these angles right. After this, just when the magicians is in the exact right position, he will start to slowly lift from the ground. To the observers, this will look like a real levitation – complete with floating for a few seconds before landing softly. An experienced magician can make this last to almost a minute or so and convince even the most skeptical observers that it is possible to float around like a superhero.
That being said, the Balducci Levitation is a clever, hard-to-execute-well optical trick. And this is what really happens: the magician lifts part or whole of his visible foot. However, simultaneously, he will also be lifting the heel of the hidden one. Now bearing in mind that he stands on part his hidden foot ( which is well hidden from the spectators ), he creates an illusion that he is floating with both feet lifted off the ground. This is also on of David Copperfield Tricks.
See more levitation tricks here
Why It Works
At this juncture, you might be wondering how people are convinced to believe that levitation – in spite of it being a subtle trick – is possible.
Well, the success of this mind trick heavily relies on the fact that most people are inclined to believe that magic is possible. This psychological subtlety boosts the chances of the spectators believing that it is not just another trick. That alone, plus a little acting on the side of the performer can make turn mere spectators into fervent adherents of levitation.
For example, it is common for the performer to inform the spectators well ahead of time that he wants to levitate. This prepares them psychologically for any illusion he can pull off his hat. He then pretends or acts like he is trying to find a ‘special’ spot where he can levitate safely. He will also couple by conveying the idea that levitation and floating is physically difficult or straining. And for the position where the audience has to stand or sit; he will provide an explanation for it by saying that he wants them to catch him in case he trips or falls.
The Bottom Line
Like a dozen of other magic tricks out there, the Balducci Levitation heavily benches on optical misdirection and illusion. And this is how it looks like