Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

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Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Bill Palmer » July 30th, 2005, 10:47 am

Last week, I attended the Magic Circle Centenary in London. It was a really great celebration, with wonderful performers and lots of great dealers. However, there was one sour note that kind of ruffled my feathers.

An illusionist from France was performing a levitiation which featured a 360 degree rotation that looked to me for all the world like the one the Pendragons use.

If anyone on the forum knows Jonathan Pendragon well enough to ask him, please ask him if he has sold the rights to this to anyone.

I'll reveal the name of the illusionist in a PM, if necessary.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2005, 2:52 pm

Don't be coy, Bill.
The illusionist was the Frenchman Dani Larry.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Bill Palmer » July 31st, 2005, 7:03 pm

I didn't want to be accusatory at this point. I'm curious as to whether JP has licensed or otherwise released this to the fraternity.

As you will remember, there was also a big question of trademark violation in the act.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2005, 8:05 pm

You mean the gigantic Coca-Cola bottle he produced the girl from? Yes, the design of a Coke bottle is copyrighted, but the bottle didn't have a Coke logo on it, nor was it green. And since he's a TV star in France, he's not exactly low profile.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Bill Palmer » August 1st, 2005, 1:45 am

The Coca-Cola bottle design isn't copyrighted. It's trademarked. Big difference. And the lack of the green and/or the label won't make much difference to Coca-Cola.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby mop krayz » August 1st, 2005, 2:57 am

dany lary has many levitations.
in one he is a clown in a bubble (sold this one to S&R)
in another he levitates a girl on a fan, then rises up himself.
which one he performed? both have nothing in common with the pendragons levitation as done on the disney tv special.

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Rafael » August 1st, 2005, 4:09 am

Dani Lary sold his water bubble to S&R : girl gets shot from a kanon & appears in a big bubble filled with water.(& not his levitation in a bubble which was inspired by S&R levitation in a balloon)
His '360' is different from the Pendragons !
In Dani Lary's version the girl has to go only 1 time arounth the body. in the other versions the girl flies arounth the magician & has to go back.
His Coke bottle first was painted black like a coke bottle but he changed the paint & now it is a white bottle....

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby thecardman » August 1st, 2005, 4:32 am

I believe that The Pendragons were the first to perform it, either on "The Best of Magic" here in the UK or on "Disney's Magic In The Magic Kingdom" on US TV. I cannot remember which came first (and I can't check at the moment, as I'm in the office).

If anyone can correct this, I would be most greatful.

Best wishes

Peter
:)

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Bill Palmer » August 1st, 2005, 7:13 am

Regarding coke bottles -- odds are the last one you saw was clear, not green.

Regarding movable levitations, Bill Siros had a version of the Super-X that would move from side to side, but it didn't have the 360 degree feature, and being a Super-X, did not move up and down.

There is also a 360 degree levitation in the latest Stevens catalog.

Still, the question of ownership, origin, etc. are important from an historical perspective.

There is also the question of why Dany Lary would paint a coke bottle white, paint a crude "Tequila" label on it in red paint, and put a champagne bottle top on the prop. It really looked odd.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » August 1st, 2005, 12:47 pm

While there have been questions raised about whether or not the Pendragon's 360 was first, when our company was looking for info on building this for someone John McKinven sent us to Jonathon. That says something in my book.
When we approached him we were granted permission (for a fee) to incorporate the 360 into a levi we were building. So he has, at least on one occasion, licensed the concept. In this case, did he? You'll have to ask him.

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby GAMOLO » August 5th, 2005, 3:18 pm

I am not sure exactly which specific Pendragon levitation effect is being described but there is nothing new about 360 degree rotations in levitations.

Years ago Bill Brown did one with a modified Super X....and Lance Burton has done one for years with one of his automated levitations and, of course, I have built specialty ones for customers who demanded this feature.

Although I was able, years ago, to patent my basic levitation effect (a modified automated Super X in principle) I was not able to obtain a patent for my 360 degree feature modification because the examiner decided that the core ("lazy susan") concept was so fundamentally universally known and applied in commerical applications that my modification and use in a theatrical application was simply not novel enough to warrant intellectual property protection.

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Blair Marshall » August 7th, 2005, 10:16 am

Hey Gale, Bill,

Siros did publish a revolving suspension in Genii magazine, yes a Super X style, but one that circled the body, not sure if right around or not. Leg controlled if I also remember.

Take care all.

Blair
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Bill Palmer » August 7th, 2005, 11:23 am

The Siros Super-X (which I saw in prototype when I was a kid) did not do exactly what the Pendragon version does. In fact, the Pendragon version won't work with a simple lazy susan type of setup. The big feature of the Pendragon style is that the person appears to move completely around the body of the performer. This is accomplished partly by the special shape of the "gooseneck." If I'm not mistaken, this is the feature that JP wants to protect.
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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » August 8th, 2005, 9:30 pm

In re. to the ques of the revolving levitation, Which has had many incarnations thruout history...

I Think that the entire history of the revolving Levitation was written about by my Friend & very first Magic teacher............
Bruce Armstrong Author of the Encyclopedia of Suspensions & Levitations.

Hope this helps

Michael Lee

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » August 10th, 2005, 6:50 am

Mr. Palmer hit it right on the head. A lazy susan arrangement is far too simple a description for this piece. Actually, multiple bearing points and the gooseneck are all necessary parts. This is not one of those weekend hobbyist type of projects!

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » December 29th, 2006, 10:47 am

Dear Readers

The 360 levitation has an interesting story. Barkely Shaw performed the first one that I saw. He wore a cape and placed his hands on the floating girl and turned around with her. This came just before his famous floating in a glass box which he sold to David Copperfield. In "86" i developed my 360 for a Disney network magic special. I wanted Charlotte to float AROUND me. I had played with the idea on a superX style levi that I built myself. Charlotte floated on her side so she could arc her back during the move (better cover). I think that was very pretty. The tough move was when she circled back, she flew through a hoop that I held. We didn't use a goose neck, I had to accept the hoop from an assistant, control Charlotte's movement and then make a clean pass without noise. It's called "Magic in the Magic Kingdom" and if you watch the piece it is very smooth even though I was controlling Charlotte, hoop and the pass all at once. The Disney levitation I presented in "93" in France very different (method was totally different). The hoop pass involved Charlotte doing a flying back flip through, in and out. We recreated this for the opening of the film "Bogus". Two actors played a husband and wife magic team. I choreographed and staged the levitation and made a quick cameo, I am the assistant who moves the hoop around the actress.. What I really wanted was to work out an idea I had been thinking about for years, it got into the film. At the end of the effect the girl floating about three feet over the magician's head, free falls into his arms on his command. Those who know the classic method used understand the danger of this action (Getting your face sliced to shreds). I worked out a way to avoid that danger. it looks really great and Norman Jewison gave me a much higher profile credit in the film. Lance Burton does my levitation (his way) with my permission. I have given several people the right to perform it. Several magicians including a legendary one stole the idea from me. Shaw and I had long discussions on our two levitations and I asked permission from him to explore another method and look as well as Mark Wilson, who had come up with the platform. This is how it should happen, but it rarely does. Bill Smith now makes the illusion, I get a 500 dollar fee. My method is very different and unique to me. No matter what anyone says the illusion that you see me perform is my invention.

with respect
Jonathan Pendragon

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » January 2nd, 2007, 9:59 am

Jonathan Pendragon says-
This is how it should happen, but it rarely does
Which is quite true. As with so many magic effects, there are many paths to take to any given destination but too many people want to trespass to get where they think they need to be.

When next an illusionist wants to take a "quick spin" around the body, as it were, they should read this post first. Glad to hear you're continuing to improve, Jonathan

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Re: Question about Pendragon's 360 degree levitation

Postby Guest » January 8th, 2007, 8:43 pm

Jonathan:

Thanks for clearing this up. It also clears up some claims that Bev Bergeron has made that I did not take quite as seriously as he did.


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