Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Research - A useful website


The website above is about the Sword Swallower Dai Andrews and the history of the art. The Site has become quite an interesting read, and I'm already learning a lot about the art of Sword Swallowing. When it started, where it came from, etc. On the site was a passage from the book  "Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Deceptions" (New York, 1987, by Albert A. Hopkins), the passage reads; "The Individual comes out dressed in a brilliant costume. At one side of him are flags of different nationalities surrounding a panoply of sabers, swords and yatagans, and at the other a stack of guns provided with bayonets. Taking a flat saber whose blade and hilt have been cut of the same sheet of metal, the blade being from fifty-five to sixty centimeters in length, he introduces its extremity into his throat, taps the hilt gently, and the blade at length entirely disappears. He then repeats the experiment at a single gulp. Subsequently after swallowing and disgorging two of these same swords, he causes one to penetrate up to it's guard, a second not quite so far, a third a little less still and a fourth up to about half its length...
Pressing now on the hilts, he swallows the four blades at a gulp and then he takes them out leisurely, one by one. The effect is quite surprising. After swallowing several different swords and sabers, he takes and old musket armed with a triangular bayonet, and swallows the latter, the gun remaining vertical over his head. Finally he borrows a large saber from a dragoon who is present for the purpose and causes two-thirds of it to disappear. As a trick, on being encored, the sword swallower borrows a cane from a person in the audience and swallows it almost entirely."

This passage gives me an insight into the art and also the description of a show that has already gone on. I can create ideas from this show and it will link to what that show business looked like. For example, it doesnt have to be a sword that my character swallows, it could be anything that is substituted for it, like the cane the artist swallows in the passage.

Below is a clip of Dai Andrews.

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