by Pipo Villanueva
Published: Last Updated on

Certain techniques presented Gabi with the possibility to extend the concept of the “intelligent breaks” coined by Arturo de Ascanio, to any technique which is characterized, as the name suggests, by the intelligent way in which it was conceived.

Ascanio referred to the intelligent break as one which, rather than being obtained through a technique dedicated exclusively to that purpose (for example, by means of pinky count or a thumb count), is instead obtained with minimum or no effort by taking advantage of an opportunity that was previously presented, such as an overhand shuffle, a count, or a display of the cards that had to be executed anyway.

As Gabi pointed out, once we have grasped a concept, once we have verbalized its intention (in this case, “intelligent”), we can apply it as a tool in a conscious search for the properties that define it.

In this sense, the first quality to highlight in intelligent techniques is the perfect balance between economy and clarity. Economy, in the sense that the handling and the use of resources must be kept to a minimum. And clarity in the sense that it should withstand slow and unhurried execution while still achieving its goals.

Another quality of intelligent techniques (paraphrasing Edward De Bono) is that they have to be “fluid”. A sequence of actions has to be designed as if it were the flow of a river, fluid but inevitable. In our case the object or objects manipulated, have no other choice but to follow the established path. This often implies defining some physical parameters that guarantee the permanent efficiency of the move, which in some cases can make it virtually automatic. The handling must possess an inherent looseness and casualness, especially if we consider that the intelligent techniques  are usually applied to in-transit actions (another term defined by Arturo de Ascanio).

The conscious search for these techniques (jewels of card magic, as he also referred to them), just like the search for strong construction of the effect as a whole, reinforces the importance of thinking deeply about our magic.

Gabi Pareras: Encuentros y Desencuentros

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