Review: Intro to Sponge Balls by Michael Dardant

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]Be careful about what you understand by the title of this DVD.  If by “Intro To Sponge Balls”, you expect to learn all the basic sleights with sponge balls, then you may be a little disappointed.  Even the write-up on the DVD’s sleeve states that “This DVD covers everything you need to know from …”  This is not completely correct.

The DVD does cover much of the vanishes of sponge balls, but not the production, multiplication or other sleights.  At best, these are briefly touched on when Michael Dardant (Magic Mike) explains the workings of some of his routines.  For example, the classic multiplication (endless production) of sponge balls is not featured in the DVD.

On the other hand, for an introduction to sponge balls, you may be overjoyed to know that a couple of Magic Mike’s professional routines, such as his kid’s “Chicken Pox” routine and his adult’s “Watch The Ball” routine, are included in the DVD.

Magic Mike starts by introducing the sponge balls.  He discusses their various sizes and colours, and their use as a magic prop.  He then explains the various vanishes with sponge balls.  After this, he performs and explains 7 sponge ball routines:

  • Sponge Ball Monte – basically a “two-in-the-hand” and “one-in-the-pocket” 3-ball routine with a spectator.
  • Polly & Esther – a basic 2-ball “in-the-spectator’s hand” routine.
  • Square Ball – a sucker trick where a sponge ball changes into a square and a solid golf ball.
  • Chicken Pox – his professional kid show act complete with sight gags.  His use of the squeaker in conjunction with the sponge balls is one of the better items in the DVD.
  • Polka Dot – a gag of pulling off a “spot” from a polka dot dress.
  • Hat Travels – a ball to hat routine with a surprise full-to-the-brim sponge balls finale.
  • Watch The Ball – part of his professional adult act using the “ball-in-the-hand” routine to steal a watch.

Although not mentioned anywhere, I believe the DVD is taped live from his lecture.  At a certain portion in the DVD, there is an annoying noise in the background.  But overall, the DVD has achieved its objective of instructing the viewers.  It is quite easy to follow Magic Mike’s instructions in the DVD.

Even for the professional performer, you do get some good routines and advice from Magic Mike.  It is better to drop the word “Intro” from the title, to prevent a wrong expectation from the purchaser.  A more appropriate title can be “Magic Mike’s Sponge Ball Magic.”  

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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