The Dance

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Postby Guest » 08/19/04 02:10 AM

Hi Folks
Apologies if this has been covered before...but I would like to get hold of a copy of 'The Dance' by Brad Henderson. Just had an email from a supplier in the UK saying that they were out of stock - and that it is out of print. Three questions then:

1. Does anyone know of a supplier who still has some in stock (one in the UK would be *fantastic*)

2. As the book is out of print, any ideas when it will (or if it will) be reprinted.

3. In the opinion of folks that have it, is it a useful complement to Ian Rowland's book - which I found to be very informative.

Thanks a lot for your response

Derek
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Postby Richard Hatch » 08/19/04 06:08 AM

We (H & R Magic Books) still have new copies in stock at the published price of just $40. Global priority shipping to the UK adds $9. They can be ordered securely through our site ( www.magicbookshop.com ). Ian Rowland's excellent book is more of a collection of strategies, whereas Brad Henderson's is more about the process. Also, Rowland's book is from the perspective of "debunker," showing how the verbal illusion of personal insight is created, whereas Henderson's is intended for the would-be practitioner, discussing the ethical responsiblities a reader must face. In that sense, the books are complimentary, taking different approaches and perspectives to the same topic. We recommend both (but can only supply THE DANCE!).
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Postby Guest » 08/19/04 10:39 PM

Richard is right. Any conscientious performer needs both. On the con -- just get the dance and ignore ethics and believe your own stuff. Want the full craft's mechanics? Then get Ian's book -- but do not try and skip the ethics.

Getting both and using their theories in practice offers balance and great technique that allows more than the gullible to become believers. And that's before the druid goat sacrifice.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/21/04 10:35 AM

Lest some people be confused, a great deal of time is spent in "The Dance" on the ethics behind what we do. I believe cold reading can be presented ethically, unlike Mr. Rowland - who is a dear friend.

Copies may be had through H and R or through me. I will be shipping again as of 9/1. There are less than 50 copies remaining.

Brad Henderson
www.bradhenderson.com/dance.htm
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Postby Guest » 08/21/04 09:25 PM

Brad--

I re-read my post and I apologize for the confusion I may have caused. What I meant was -- read and use both. If you choose to ignore the ethics in either book and must get only one book -- the Dance has more a believable and less mechanical approach than Ian's Masterwork with its very complete disection of technique, (much like we did with frogs in high school biology.) He does pin it down well.......

GC
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/22/04 09:44 AM

Thanks for the clarification. I think Ian's book is of great value, and feel both books compliment each other nicely. Ian's is the best book on the dissection of "cold reading" lines. I wanted mine to focus on how to navigate the reading and the delivery of those lines.

A raw beginner should consider something like Ian's book before mine, I should think. The Dance takes for granted a basic understanding of cold reading structures.

Thanks!

Brad
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Postby Guest » 08/22/04 04:22 PM

"compl'I'ment"??

I feel a little insulted to be told that I might not be smart enough to understand THE DANCE by somebody who does not know the difference between "complement" and "compliment"...

But....I will have to admit that, despite my bachelors degree and two masters degrees, I don't quite understand THE DANCE either....It is just my opinion, but it is a whole lot of talk and not enough walk....

...but I could be wrong....


opie
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Postby Guest » 08/22/04 10:36 PM

Ah, c'mon Opie -- give us dislektik ADD spellirs a brake. After all we is justa usin Eanglish as she is spaked.
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Postby Doug Dyment » 08/23/04 08:21 AM

I reviewed "The Dance" when it first came out. Here's a copy of that article for those who may not have seen it at the time:

"The Dance"
by Brad Henderson (privately printed, 2003) $40 + P&P
Hardcover, gold stamped title, sewn binding; 121 half-letter-sized pages, coated stock

This high-production-quality book is, simply, a treatise on the art of cold reading. As those sufficiently experienced with the subject well know, cold reading is both an art and a craft. Mr. Henderson is clearly an experienced practitioner of what he discusses, and it shows. "The Dance" doesn't dwell so much on the detailed mechanics of a reading, and spends little time on the subject of why cold readings work; those looking for this more technical side (i.e., the craft) would be better served by Ian Rowland's now-classic text, "The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading". What Mr. Henderson provides, instead, is a book more focused on the *art* of the reading. And does very well indeed.

The first section ("Considerations", 12pp) offers what may be the best discussion I've yet read on the various ethical issues that are often associated with cold reading. He doesn't shy away from the big questions, and offers a well-presented opinion of why he considers "reading" to be an ethical activity, and under what considerations he believes it not to be so. Those who decry the "dishonesty" of readers would do well to consider his expressed views.

The second section ("Foundations", 26pp) sets the stage for what is to come. He discusses common cold reading myths, addresses the motivations of readers (and to a lesser extent, sitters), investigates methods by which readers can "protect" themselves from the possible negative effects of errors in the statements they make, and touches on dealing with skeptics. The use of a stated "method" (palmistry, Tarot, angels, etc.) as a basis for authenticity is encouraged, though purely intuitive approaches are examined as well.

The third section ("The Dance", 32pp) anchors the work, and provides a concise but fruitful listing of methodological ploys. A particularly useful portion investigates the actual (and perceived) flow of information that takes place during a reading; Mr. Henderson offers a formal model for understanding this flow, and demonstrates how this can be used to improve the perceived quality of the information that is ultimately delivered to the sitter. As the book's title suggests, readings are portrayed here not as authoritative bestowings of hidden knowledge, but as "dances", each involving the reader, the sitter, and (ideally) the method/oracle... all in a dynamic interplay, and all contributing to the effective outcome of the process.

The penultimate section ("Attitudes", 30pp) is divided into two parts, individually addressing the private reading and the "performance reading" (i.e., any in which a third party is involved, even if only by listening to the reading). More time is spent on the latter... a good thing, as this topic has previously received very little attention in the cold reading literature. Several good ideas are offered, with a view to exploiting the presence of such additional people in order to improve the reading. This will be of particular value to those who work "psi parties" or other events where total privacy is not always available (or perhaps even wanted).

A final short section ("Performance Pieces", 11pp) offers two "tricks". Whether this is to please the magician audience (who, let's face it will be buying this book in their fruitless struggle to find the "secret" of cold reading) or not is immaterial. Both effects described are quite good, and certainly useful in appropriate circumstances. The first makes use of a card force that has been previously exploited in the context of readings (I use it myself with Psycards, though in a slightly different way, and to different ends); Mr. Henderson's version is quite nice theatrically, and could no doubt be put to very strong use. The second effect is an excellent illustration of what can be accomplished with the convergence of equivoque and the classic pendulum.

Early in this book, the author offers his own one-word summary of its contents: "listen". More than any other book I have read on cold reading, the process-centric approach advocated here makes it clear why this summary is appropriate. Thus I am encouraged to offer my own one-word summary of this review: "read".


"The Dance" has one unfortunate negative, which will bother some more than others: it suffers badly from the lack of an editor. In addition to a healthy sprinkling of typographical errors, the book is something of a grammatical nightmare; rare is the page that has not one, but a profusion of grammatical mistakes, ranging from the usual apostrophe errors and word confusions to a fairly wholesale ignoring of subject-verb agreement. The more literate reader will find this a painful landscape. It's truly a shame that such a lovingly produced book managed to sidestep this critical production step. [A related aside... If you are planning to write a book, please do what any serious publishing house will insist upon... hire a copy-editor! This doesn't mean asking your friend(s) to proofread it for you, unless one of your friends is an experienced editor. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that you really don't need an editor: you do. If you do not have a current copy of "The Chicago Manual of Style" immediately to hand, you are not an editor. End of discussion.]

With this grammatical caveat, I can happily recommend the purchase of this book. It is a "must read" text for anyone seriously considering the art/craft of cold reading.

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary
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Postby Guest » 08/23/04 02:11 PM

Doug....good review....Where was the review published?

opie
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Postby Doug Dyment » 08/24/04 08:41 AM

Opie posted:
Doug....good review....Where was the review published?
I wrote it for the PEA; it was subsequently posted in a couple of other private mentalism groups.

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary
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Postby Guest » 08/24/04 09:27 AM

Doug: Thanks man....Enjoyed surfing your web, especially the link to the essay on what I would change if I had things to do over....Good food for thought....

....well, I thought about the essay and decided that, if I changed anything in my past, it might affect my sweet and loving nature....

opie
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 08/24/04 12:38 PM

Rowland teaches you how to make the surfboard. Henderson teaches you how to ride the wave...
Visit www.MagiciansOnly.com for exclusive book, trick, DVD, & convention reviews!
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Postby Guest » 08/25/04 12:02 PM

Originally posted by Brad Henderson:
[QB]I believe cold reading can be presented ethically, unlike Mr. Rowland - who is a dear friend.
Brad and I have enjoyed some truly fascinating correspondence about cold reading and the ethical areas involved. I would submit a mild correction to what Brad wrote here: I do think cold reading can be presented ethically, and I have little doubt that Brad, for one, manages to do this highly successfully. However, it's an area with many shades of gray, and many pitfalls await those who either don't care much about the ethics or can't deal with them. I always think it's good to reach for the areas of common ground and consensus, and I think nearly everyone agrees that it's a shame that _some_ people mis-use the cold reading art to interfere in people's lives in a negative or irresponsible way.

Brad's excellent book provides just about the best discussion of these ethical matters that I've ever read, and in an enjoyable-to-read sort of way too, which is even more of an achievement. I also greatly enjoyed the many intelligent and responsible points of view aired in the first year's OORT compilation (now sadly out of print).
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/26/04 05:55 PM

Thanks Ian. I suppose I should have said "psychic reading" as opposed to cold reading -- confusion of method and effect, so to speak. (And I sincerely pray that is more accurately reflective of your philosophy.) But I happily stand corrected. It is upsetting to see Opie spin my words into something I have never implied, and I shudder at the thought of having done the same to you. I will happily apologize publicly.

Further, I apologize to those offended by my typo. I have been on the road performing since June 19th. I am typing on computers with foreign keyboards and with limited time. Please, when you see me next, do not shun me for having used an 'i' instead of an 'e'. I assure you, I am not worthless.

And once again I must ask Opie not to spin my words -- as I have had to do a few times of late. I never said anyone would not be smart enough to understand my works. Where he got that from, I have no idea! However, a raw beginner would be better served with other texts. The learning process would be more efficient, I feel. I think those who have actually READ The Dance would agree. (It is my understanding that Opie is NOT in that club.)

Consequently, Opie, I must once again ask that you not comment on my work until you actually read it. (Also, I was told of your reaction to accidentally picking up my book at the summer convention and discovering it was indeed mine. "Hot Potato?") We don't need another Satanic Booktest debacle with you offering disparaging comments on a text of which you have no first hand knowledge. Don't you think it's a bit ridiculous to offer a critique/opinion of something you neither own nor have read? How much credibility would Ebert have if he panned a movie and then told his public that he planned to see the movie next week? Can you have an opinion on something you have never seen, read, or know about? And why, if there is only talk and no walk, did you ask that I "read" a few of the guests at your table at the Christmas banquet in Austin? Doesn't that seem a little hypocritical?

(And Opie, you do not feel insulted because of the typo. You feel insulted because you have a personal vendetta against me, as evidenced by your continued unprovoked attacks on my works which you admit to have never read nor seen - as was the case with the booktest. Wouldn't we all be better served if your posts read:
"I am upset at Brad and do not like him personally, so please follow my lead and do not purchase his materials. I have stayed away from them, but based on my feelings toward him, I do not like his work "? At least then, your posts would have a veneer of honesty.)

So, please, remember your promise to not comment any further on my work. And should you need to, please READ IT FIRST. I think that is a small enough of a request, no?

And thank you to Doug, Ian, Ruben and C.H. for your informed comments.
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