UTOPIA review – Disc 1 -100% DaOrtiz

Out of all the magic DVDs I’ve ever bought – this set is by far the best. It really is that good. This blog has been a fan of Dani DaOrtiz for a long time and when I heard about the release of a DVD set I was super excited. Up until now all of his routines were only published in Spanish, save for a few routines on the Fat Brothers DVDs. EMC 2010 showed Dani’s talent to a wider audience and EMC 2011 gave him the recognition he deserves. Some will say that these DVD’s are expensive but believe me they are worth every penny. Wonderfully produced (unlike the Green series which for me was a disappointment), the language barrier is no problem at all and the interviews are interesting and informative.

The content is incredible – his philosophy on card magic and casual attitude lower your defences so that he constantly fools you. This is how card magic should be performed – with focus on the entertainment of the audience and focusing on manipulating what they perceive as opposed to what is actually happening.

The Show

A Masterful demonstration of misdirection and applied psychology. Flawlessly covers any errors so that things work as he wants yet at the same time he gives the spectators a feeling of total freedom and choice. Most card magicians don’t apply psychology to their performances – they think they do, but they don’t. Watch Dani DaOrtiz perform to see exactly how it should be done.

Numerical match

My favourite routine on the DVD’s – a version of Hofzinsers sympathetic match. The handling is extremely clean and Dani uses psychological techniques to create a devastating piece of magic.

I don’t remember

High energy universal cards routine with amusing patter. Starts as a card to box routine but the magician cannot remember how the effect should go – this leads to an utterly convincing display of the card appearing to be everywhere, then vanishing to finally appear in the box as intended.


A self working trick explaining how some card effects can be mathematical. This fooled me completely when I first saw it on EMC 2011. The key is in the presentation and misdirection – without this is becomes a boring mathematical monstrosity but in the hands of Dani is becomes a miracle. He explains the importance of doing exactly as him then creates chaos so that all spectators don’t have a clue where their card is. At the end all is resolved in an impossible way. Example of his “focus” theory – making the spectators focus their attention on doing exactly as him and not on the number of cards used in the trick.

Mini Oil and Water

Starts off with small oil and water routine using one of Dani’s signature routines. He doesn’t explain the four card versions (explained on the Fat Brothers DVD’s) but he does explain some very very clever ideas on full deck oil and water after the spectator has shuffled the cards.

Why Aces

Ok routine – very magical but I’m not a fan of the handling. Similar to a John Bannon effect from Smoke and Mirrors. What Dani adds which I think is great is he creates the impression that the spectator names the values themselves – strong stuff.

Horizontal open triumph

When I first saw this I thought he was using double backers and facers. He in fact uses a completely straight deck. Brilliant version of the Dai Vernon classic – out of all the versions I’ve seen this version shows the cards mixed in such a convincing way that even when you know how it’s done it still visually fools you. He takes the mixed deck and has the spectator look closely and touch the cards. The magic moment is great – a blow and they all instantly face the same way except for the selection. Perfect.

The one

A version of a David Williamsom trick which he did perform on Stiff the White Rabbit – Dani takes it to a new level by also adding in a thought of card.

 Triple intuition

Three spectators take cards and find them themselves in increasingly impossible ways – they hold the deck and deal the cards Dani just stands back and watches. Despite their freedom they all have incredible intuition and stop on their cards. Devious method and very strong effect.

Up next – Disk 2 – Fascinations….

3 thoughts on “UTOPIA review – Disc 1 -100% DaOrtiz”

  1. This is a very helpful review and persuades me that this DVD set is worth purchasing despite the price and the fact that I usually prefer books to DVDs

    1. Thanks Roger – I’m the same as you – I usually stay away from DVD’s but this set really is excellent.

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