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Topic: The best linking ring routine
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Jan 24, 2010 10:57PM)
I am in the process of updating a show for this summers season and trying to figure out which linking ring routine to do (been doing symphony but need a change). I know we all have our own favorites and I would like to know what your favorite published routine is... and why. I need about 4 to 5 minutes.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 25, 2010 01:51AM)
Straight? Comedy? Silent? Talking?
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 25, 2010 03:27AM)
Levent is producing a new linking ring dvd set.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jan 25, 2010 05:12AM)
Henry Hay's _The Amateur Magician's Handbook_ has a basic routine including the figures like the swing, the globe, the flower.. But this is mainly the basic routine with no patter suggestions, so I think working up your own approach to presentation would maybe add a couple of minutes to the routine. I think to get five minutes you would pretty much have to use all eight rings rather than the smaller number (six, five, or even three) preferred by many magicians today.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Jan 25, 2010 10:55AM)
I would recommend getting L&L's World's Greatest dvd pertaining to the Linking Rings. See different styles and number of rings. Then make your own routine. Some ideas for you...play with different sizes at the same time, adapt a story to a ring routine (for example..Moby Dick). The rings rock in my book.

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 25, 2010 12:08PM)
The best one is mine. mine is the best. nothing beats it.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 25, 2010 12:44PM)
If you want a talking comedy routine, I suggest:



Message: Posted by: markmiller (Jan 25, 2010 01:29PM)
Whit's routine is hard to beat.
Message: Posted by: AnthonyJD (Jan 25, 2010 07:42PM)
How about a Jack Miller routine?
Message: Posted by: markis (Jan 26, 2010 11:59AM)
5 minute silent linking ring routine seems long. After the first couple minutes I'd would be saying "Yea, I get it"
Message: Posted by: bronx (May 19, 2010 02:58AM)
Whit, I absolutely LOVE your 4 ring routine. Am hoping to work it into a trade show presentation I have coming up. May I ask what rings (size, manufacturer) you recommend? Which ones did you use in the video.google.com link above?

Thanks so much.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 19, 2010 04:19PM)
Bronx, Whit Haden has mentioned about his rings many times on the Café. He uses the the Rolls Royce of Linking Rings. Owen Magic Supreme [url=http://www.owenmagic.com/Club___Stage/Club___Stage_4/club___stage_4.html]click here[/url] If I remember correctly, he uses the 15" rings currently. Very, Very expensive!
Message: Posted by: Fantasy Knight (May 19, 2010 04:59PM)
Whit, I love your routine and very funny, I couldn't stop laughing and your facial expression you make really added that humor too. Thanks for sharing that with us here on the Café'.

Rick Anderson
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (May 20, 2010 03:49PM)
It doesn't matter what rings you use for Whit's routine. The dramatic structure is what makes it work. Whit created the routine on the street. I use 10 inch rings to do it and other routines. Chris Capehart told me I should get a set of cheap 10" rings because they work best.

Message: Posted by: Vayron (May 21, 2010 05:48PM)
The best routine I ever saw was from Rick Thomas at the Sahara hotel. Wonderful routine with strong reactions from the audience.
Message: Posted by: JonathanM (May 22, 2010 01:00PM)
I have to say that I swore for years that I'd never do the linking rings..for no real good reason other than, to me, it seemed so "common".

But now, I can't tell you how much I love performing Whit Hayden's 4 ring routine. The concept is so entertaining, and perfect for my style. We as magicians can be very "impressive" with the miracles that we do...and the audience needs to see US as the one being "fooled". That's why I like Whit's routine so much!
Message: Posted by: Anatole (May 22, 2010 08:46PM)
I've always liked Allen Hayden's ring routine. I believe he published it in his lecture notes.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: joseph (May 23, 2010 05:02AM)
Or, if you like the small close up version check [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAfiuGotE_8]THIS[/url] out..nice...
Message: Posted by: dahih beik (May 26, 2010 03:31AM)
The most magical is richard ross
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 27, 2010 12:48PM)
Al Schneider's routine (Free) on his website is worth checking out.
Message: Posted by: Slappy (May 27, 2010 04:23PM)
Aldo Colombini has a great routine that uses two rings and a rope. I've never seen a routine like it and it transitions nicley into a couple of rope routines.

Anything Al Schneider does, is worth checking out.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 28, 2010 05:12AM)
On 2010-05-22 21:46, Anatole wrote:
I've always liked Allen Hayden's ring routine. I believe he published it in his lecture notes.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez

Yes, Allan Hayden's Fancy Ring Routine got a lot of attention some years ago, I never got around to ordering it. I just found a real deal at Daytona Magic they are selling it for half price.

Magic Inc. is the publisher of this booklet and they have an on line price of $7.95.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (May 30, 2010 12:01AM)
Depending on your style I guess... any of the following is out there!!

Whit Haydn for comedy!!!

Jeff McBride does a pretty explosive fast routine!!! to music

Richard Ross-The master at work-slow & real magic!!!-30yrs ago I saw this in Paris and it still was my favourite...

The great things with the Rings are over the years we all add a little bit of numerous routines & create our own style of presenting-Its a great effect-I myself use 12 inch Rings to music-runs 2 mins 35 secs
Keep the routine under 3 mins if possible if using music

Whits routine is hard to beat though!!
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 30, 2010 09:29AM)
I absolutely love Whit Hayden's comedy 4 ring routine. But I don't think anyone can ever do it as well as Whit himself. This routine was developed with Whit's character in mind and honed to perfection over years and years of performing.

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 4, 2010 02:13PM)
The best routine is your own personal and original routine.

Study Vernon’s, Haydon’s, McBride’s and get the books,
“Rings In Your Fingers” and “Ireland Linking Rings”
then once you’ve seen the range, pick and choose moves,
come up with a theme or plot, and go for it!

My thoughts,
Message: Posted by: GlennGary (Jun 17, 2010 01:42PM)
My rings are 12" Owens, I do a silent routine just under 6 minutes to music that has won many awards and gets ovations every show. Of course I only do one show every five years.

No actually I do several show per week but my only point is that it doesn't matter how long the routine is, how many rings you use, as long as the audience is entertained the entire time. Now some say size doesn't matter, but my wife insist that it does. She says at 6'3" tall, 10" rings looks like I am playing with tinker toys, I need 12" rings to balance with my body.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jul 5, 2010 05:28PM)
These days I'm performing a 3 ring routine that mimmicks Tai Chi meditation sequences. It is performed to the tranquil music of an oriental flute. Artistically, it's one of the few pieces I perform that makes me feel like a real magician.

Message: Posted by: Fábio DeRose (Jul 9, 2010 09:46PM)
That sounds beautiful!
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Aug 8, 2010 02:14PM)
I love my routine which is using only 4 rings. As soon as I finish that routine I then do a linking rope routine. Then after doing that I discard 1 rope and use a ring instead, and do a routine using both.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 9, 2010 11:07AM)
If you want to see one of the best Linking Rings presentations, go to http://www.stoners.com and search linking rings. Click on any of the linking ring products and then click on demo.

This eight ring routine has be honed by professional magician [b]Dick Stoner[/b] for over 50 years. It is a great example of takeing a little for many sources and creating a real show piece. It has comedy and mystery and is several minutes long.

Due to the way there web site is set up I cannot give a direct link.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Aug 9, 2010 11:33AM)
Here is the link if anyone would like to see it.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Aug 13, 2010 07:15AM)
On 2010-08-09 12:33, idomagic wrote:
Here is the link if anyone would like to see it.
I seem to remember there being more to it than that. I also like Whit Haydn's routine.

I perform a routine that's based on Harry Anderson's routine. I added touches to it, over the years. I get compliments on my routine, all the time, especially if they've seen another magician perform the rings.

I'm of the opinion that the rings usually don't get the care and attention that they deserve. I rarely see a routine that will put a smile on my face.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Aug 13, 2010 09:31AM)
Alan, I so agree with you statement about attention. Since posting, I have been working on a routine all season and have not gotten it to a point I would perform it in public. I am really picky about the quality of my magic, both from a technical standpoint but more importantly, from and entertainment perspective (read, humor). It's been great to see all the suggestions and use them to build a unique routine. I guess I was just lazy and didn't want to put in the work but once I got started, it kind of became an goal... now only if I can get it ready for next year!
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Aug 18, 2010 01:44PM)
Shocked that no one really called out Jeff McBride's commando routine. Check it out on "World's Greatest Magic: The Linking Rings" DVD (also includes routine by Dai).
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 10, 2010 03:39PM)
I perform more kid shows. Kids like holding props for examination. That is why I use eight rings in my routine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS78iI6cwh0
Message: Posted by: kennewhitson (Jun 6, 2011 10:55AM)
Whit's routine is great!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 6, 2011 11:14AM)
Whit's routine is great. We were both booked on the same show once and, using advice from Dai Vernon, I suggested Whit go on first and I would go on a couple of acts later.

[b]We BOTH got strong reactions and great applause.[/b]

Vernon told me to follow him once when we were on the same show. In that case he said, "After someone does a classic routine, it sets up your comedy version and you will still go strong.

Posted: Jun 6, 2011 12:15pm
As far as the BEST routine? It depends on who you are working for.

To me it was Jay Marshall's. It got him on the Ed Sullivan TV show dozens of times.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jun 7, 2011 08:03AM)
The best routine is the one that reflects your personality and character. The moves don't need to be difficult or complicated, but the routine should communicate something about you. Here's a routine I've been working on. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 7, 2011 09:12AM)
Kent, the premise is very good, and the only thing I could say is the the rings got lost in your custume. Maybe a different color or holding the rings out from your body more would help visualily for the rings.

Also being you connected it to Ty Chi (hope I spelled that correctly) you should use the positions of that art form throughout. Stretching and giving meaning to the moves. Also bring the rings up higher, maybe in front of your face more would help draw attention to the links and unlinking of the rings.

My 1st thought was, make the rings float, I think if you consider using the floating rings for this routine and theme, it would truely make it magical.

Lastly, I would like you to consider that you taylor your pants so there is not such a large break in the legs. You have large blousing pant legs. This makes you look very short, a sharp crease in the pants would make them look sharper. You may want to consider getting a boot shoe with a higher heel. This will give you good posture and shape your body frame better.

This is ment as constructive advice for things to consider. I like the theme, music and story. Stand tall!
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jun 7, 2011 10:41AM)

Thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it! About a week ago, I had a private session with Jeff McBride to work on the show. One of the key pieces we focused on was the ring routine. Coincidentally, he raised many of the same points you did.

1. Losing the rings in the costume - We tried to address this issue on two fronts. First, many of the magic moments are now on the side of my body rather than directly in front of the costume. This will take advantage of the fact that most curtains are black or some other dark color. Second, we have made efforts to identify key points within the routine and transform them into "applause" moments. Jeff is a master at creating applause cues, but the challenge here was to create several such cues without breaking the flow of the meditation. So, the cues needed to be soft and subtle. In most cases, it's simply a pause and a smile as I make eye contact with the audience.

2. Tai Chi Moves - During the consultation, we focused on different moves as well. Jeff has a background in Tai Chi and was able to provide some meaningul insights into the moves. Obviously, many actual moves are not possible while performing the rings, but the look and feel of the movements can still be conveyed to the audience.

3. Pants/boots - You are soooo right! I hated the look of these pants in the video, but I only ever noticed them when I first watched the DVD. Since then, I have had several pairs of pants custom tailored for a better look and fit. I have also purchased a set of ankle boots with a flaminco (sp?) heel, and I'm revisiting ballroom dance to assist with breathing and posture.

4. Floating rings - I haven't heard of this routine. Could you provide me with some direction for further research? It does seem like it would fit nicely into the vision I have for the rings. When a friend first asked me what I had in mind when performing the rings, I told him I wanted the routine to have the look and feel of "ripples on a pond". Floating rings may do exactly that.

Once again, thank you for your advice and guidance. It is very much appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 7, 2011 05:25PM)
Kent, sorry, I did not look them up before my post, they are called Flying Rings.
Here: http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_91_4&products_id=111745


There was a Worlds Greatest Magic clip of a girl doing the Flying Rings while using 'The Lean', but I can't find it. The Lean has nothing to do with my suggestion, that is just how I remember the show and clip. Here movements were slow, that is my point of trying to find the reference.

Even though you cannot do the 'exact' moves involved in a Tai Chi movement, Jeff McBride was right in that it should simulate that movement to stay within the story line.

I think a lot of people have seen those news reports of Chinese people in the background doing Tai Chi while the news person talks about elderely health. When you say, "Tai Chi"; they are thinking of slow stretching movements.
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Jun 7, 2011 05:55PM)
I favour my own linking ring routine that uses one ring. :wow:
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Jun 7, 2011 08:31PM)
I've used the one ring routine. Seems not to draw the audience in well... It just feels like it's missing... Well, I don't know... Something. ;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 7, 2011 09:13PM)
I did a little research and found it was not WGM but Masters of Illusion, the girl was Krystyn Lambert, but I could not find the video on YouTube, where for some reason they had at least 2 people doing the linking rings.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 7, 2011 10:49PM)
In your opening talk. Stand still. If you recall Johnny Carson, when he did his monolog stood perfectly still. Moving to an fro creates nervousness. And the moves at the beginning where one ring go's over another, to laymen isn't magical, they just think one ring is larger than the other. Most of the routine is quite nice. The costume problems you can fix, and can help with proper lighting.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jun 8, 2011 10:31AM)
Wmhegbli - Thanks for the links. This may fit in nicely with the vision I have for this routine.

Pete - I really do need to control the nervous energy I have on stage. Learning to plant myself and simply direct my attention to various parts of the audience is something I really need to work on. Also, Jeff McBride provided some valuable guidance in the initial pass through moves, that will hopefully focus a little more attention to the penetration aspect of the move. In particular, he suggested performing the initial pass through in a cross-body position and then immediately "trying" to pull the ring back through again. The ring gets "stuck" and I look a little confused. A sense of realization comes over me. I take a deep breath and successfully pull the ring through.

I am overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge here on the Café and the generosity of the members in providing constructive advice and guidance. Thank you again for everything!

Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jun 8, 2011 04:36PM)
On 2011-06-07 23:49, Pete Biro wrote:
In your opening talk. Stand still. If you recall Johnny Carson, when he did his monolog stood perfectly still. Moving to an fro creates nervousness. And the moves at the beginning where one ring go's over another, to laymen isn't magical, they just think one ring is larger than the other. Most of the routine is quite nice. The costume problems you can fix, and can help with proper lighting.
Thanks Pete. Fidgiting is one of my pet peeves. Drives me bonkers, especially when filming non-pros.
Nice work once you get into the routine though.
Pretend your feet are encased in concrete during your monologue. Every movement should have a reason for being.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 8, 2011 09:00PM)
For pure artistry, Jonathan Neal's often copied "2 ring" routine is pure poetry in motion. It gets down to the essence of what the effect is about.
For 3 Rings: Richard Ross
4 Rings: Whit Hayden
6 Rings: Dai Vernon
8 Rings: I like my routine best or else I wouldn't be doing it!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 9, 2011 12:34AM)
Thanks Ray for the kind words!
Of course, your bias is to be expected ...you were there when I created it.....33 years AGO!!
All the best-
Message: Posted by: Levent (Jun 9, 2011 12:56AM)
Personally I think there are a lot of great routines.

At the present time I love the:

Robert-Houdin 12 ring

Claudius Odin 8 ring

Dai Vernon 4 ring

Jack Miller 5 ring

Benson 11 ring

Jay Marshall 5 ring

Cardini/Vernon 6 ring

Richard Ross 4 ring

Jonathan Neal 2 ring

Whit Haydn 4 ring

Levent 11 ring :)

But pound for pound I think the most powerful routine ever performed was both Chung Ling Soo 12 ring routines

That's just my opinion.


Hey J.Neal:

I will be back home next week, will you be around? We really must do another episode of our podcast!!!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 9, 2011 01:02AM)
On 2011-06-09 01:34, JNeal wrote:
Thanks Ray for the kind words!
Of course, your bias is to be expected ...you were there when I created it.....33 years AGO!!
All the best-
lol.. Wow! really?? I was ... what... about 12 at the time?

True it was a great time in history to be working out ideas and brainstorming handle locations with one of the great minds in magic. My bias is valid but time (and copyists) has proven my point!
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 9, 2011 02:12AM)
On 2011-06-09 01:56, Levent wrote:
Personally I think there are a lot of great routines.

But pound for pound I think the most powerful routine ever performed was both Chung Ling Soo 12 ring routines

That's just my opinion.

Would you be including Chung Ling Soo's version in your new video?
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Jun 9, 2011 07:15AM)
Thanks for the research list Levent. I know a few of those but I look forward to looking at more. I ended up not adding a ring routine since I just didn't have enough time to practice. I'm pretty particular about making sure what I do is great, I hate to see guys hack things on stage! Ok, I'll hack through a self working trick now and then but... I decided to create something of a bit of mix and make it unique, now I have even more to look into. Thanks everyone for the input and suggestions.
Message: Posted by: Levent (Jun 10, 2011 11:03AM)

On the video I will certainly fully explain the Chung Ling Soo routine and show all of the moves. I cannot however do the entire routine as a performance (like I did with the Cardini Billiard Ball routine), because the Soo ring routine requires two HIGHLY trained assistants, which is something that I do not have. What the assistants do visibly and secretly are a big part of how Soo SELLS the trick to the audience, both in terms of mystery and showmanship. I have not yet shot the video, but I will try to give the viewer everything that will need to know if they choose to put in the hard work required to perform either one of the two 12-ring routines that Soo made famous in Vaudeville.

Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 10, 2011 01:20PM)
I'm looking forward to it Levent.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jun 12, 2011 03:26AM)
I had no idea that Vernon had a 4 ring routine?

I recently saw JNeal do his rings at the castle a few weekends ago while I was performing there. Every move is a picture.

Message: Posted by: pslaughter (Jun 12, 2011 04:06AM)
While we are talking about ring routines, there are a few that come to mind as exceptional.

First, I think everyone would agree that Chris Capehart's crash link in his routine floored us all.

I remember being very impressed with Terry Lunceford's 3 ring routine. That is a video/DVD that I wish I had purchased. Does anyone know if it is still available?

Speaking of 3 ring routines, I also remember being very impressed with Joe Devlin's routine. No DVD or lecture notes on it to my knowledge, but it was a very solid routine. I remember really liking a certain over the head and one in each hand display that I really liked.

Because I perform outside at festivals and on the street, I'm partial to a lot of Cellini's material. Basically I perform a variation of Vernon's Symphony probably like most everyone else.

Richard Ross's routine is certainly a thing of beauty. Levent, I'm curious about the truth concerning the L*****G K** he supposedly used. There is certainly a lot of myth surrounding its use. (If he truly used one at all)

For what it is worth, Levent I'm very excited to hear you are working on a set of ring DVDs. I really enjoyed your DVDs on the Miser's Dream and the Billiard Balls, so I know you'll do an excellent job with the rings. I know magicians tend to discount the power of the rings, but for my money it is one of the strongest routines out there.

just my 2 cents...
Message: Posted by: Levent (Jun 12, 2011 12:03PM)

Yes, Vernon definitely did a four ring routine :)


I especially liked Devlin's routine in the old days when he used to do whole sequence of clever tricks as a prelude to the linking rings, such as: the vanishing silk to mouth, the mini ring that would vanish and reappear on his ear (as an earring), the instant linking of the 10 mini rings into a pocket watch chain, the transposition with the pocket watch. I know the exact Devlin move you mean, the one where he hold the ring in his mouth and flips it over his head by snapping his neck backwards. Joe did that beautifully, but I think I would injure myself if I tried it. :)

Also, like J. Neal I think Joe Devlin chose some really superb music for his ring routine.

Regarding Ross, yes he definitely used one, and because a friend of mine helped him get it repaired when Ross broke while on tour, I know the exact kind he used.

I am extremely excited to start shooting this video next week. I'm also thinking about writing an essay on the (Linking Ring) trick and posting it here on The Magic Café, the day I begin shooting, the same as I did back when I shot the Billiard Ball DVD.

Best Regards,
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 12, 2011 01:43PM)
I am so looking forward to it. The Linking Rings have been a staple with me ever since I started magic as a kid. I can always learn new stuff. Besides, I can't wait to see the routines of the old masters. I started off learning the stuff from Henry Hay's book, then learned the routine in Blackstone's book on magic. Then I fell in love with Richard Ross' and wanted to learn it. Before I found it at the Magic Castle library, I created my own and stuck to it.

When I got heavier, the old style of dancing to music just didn't fit. So, now I do Whit's version ending with my old routine, which suits me better. His old "School Teacher" character works well with my character.

Can't wait Levent.
Message: Posted by: JackLangdell (Jun 12, 2011 03:28PM)
I particuloarly enjoyed Kent Wong's Tai Chi rings and his open response to constructive criticism. The Tai Chi theme gives a logical purpose to the ring routinc. there was a time when everyone did the rings in the same way and it was an over used effect that most people groaned about. This thread brings out interesting variations. Whit Haydn has the best comedy routine. No one can successfully imitate it.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jun 14, 2011 01:39AM)
Loved loved last time you posted as you went while shooting the billiard ball dvds. Looking forward to a log of the rings progress!

Message: Posted by: Dr_J_Ayala (Jun 16, 2011 10:57PM)
It took a while for someone to mention the Chung Ling Soo routines, both of which I used to perform in all of my stage shows. It was by far tied for first as my favorite with the Robert-Houdin 12 ring routine.

I also love doing the Dai Vernon and Whit Haydn versions.

If you really want to see two killer linking ring routines, both of them being silent, you should watch Brett Daniels and Laurens Godon. Both are absolutely wonderful, masterful, beautiful and extremely entertaining routines. After sitting down with Brett at a conclave once, I adopted many of his subtleties and sequences in my other linking ring routines. It took me a long, long time to accomplish myself, but I have never seen anyone else perform this particular link as Brett does: Two rings, one held vertically, the other horizontally. The vertical ring is tossed into the air and cought as it falls back down, only to be shown linked, with absolute silence, onto the horizontal ring. Very poetic.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 16, 2011 11:16PM)
On 2011-06-16 23:57, Dr_J_Ayala wrote:
I have never seen anyone else perform this particular link as Brett does: Two rings, one held vertically, the other horizontally. The vertical ring is tossed into the air and cought as it falls back down, only to be shown linked, with absolute silence, onto the horizontal ring. Very poetic.

It is in fact a very poetic, beautiful and oft copied link as originated by Jonathon Neal in his masterful 2 ring routine.
Message: Posted by: Levent (Jun 17, 2011 09:29AM)
On 2011-06-16 23:57, Dr_J_Ayala wrote:
It took a while for someone to mention the Chung Ling Soo routines, both of which I used to perform in all of my stage shows.

Dr J Ayala:

Can you tell me of the two Chung Ling Soo ring routines that you used to perform in your stage shows. Which one of the two routines got a better reaction from the audience?

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 17, 2011 07:48PM)
Ray: FYI... about 40 years ago I threw a ring high into the air, and caught it "silently" in a horizontal ring in hand. Things like ball juggling, ring moves and card move are easy to have multiple inventors... many identical thinks owing to the number of folks out there playing with the props.

JNeal does do one of the most elegant routines, no question.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 17, 2011 08:15PM)
Hey Pete! I fully understand, and I've done the same. Did you end up using it? He was just the first one I know to do it consistently in a documentable routine on stage as far as I knew. At least I was pretty sure it predated Brett's routine but I always love finding better sources!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 17, 2011 08:19PM)
The young Davenport kid from the Davenport family did this in his act, they own the magic shop in England. They have published a book, I believe on Chinese Jugglers who did the linking rings and throwing them high in the air and when they landed they linked. He explained how to do this in a lecture of sorts when they were at Abbott's Get-Together years ago.

They said that is where the Linking Rings originated, Chinese Jugglers.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 17, 2011 08:27PM)
That toss link is fairly well known and I think many have done it. I do it with the last two rings in my act. It is the "silent" linking we were talking about.

I'm sure many people have done a silent link in the past either in rehearsal or playing around with it much like many flying trapeze artists have caught a quad sumersault, but there was only one guy, Miguel Vasquez who is generally credited as the first to throw it consistently in a show. I'm sure open to other documentation. Maybe Pete did it the silent link in his act all the time, not sure. Hopefully we can find out more!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 18, 2011 01:39PM)
I did the silent link catch and still do, since I worked shows in the army around 1952.


I have information it was done by a Spanish magician before any in print from the orient, and I have a copy of the FIRST KNOWN instrutions, and they are in Japanese.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 18, 2011 02:28PM)
I wasn't planning on weighing in on this discussion at all. When I first met Pete (probably around 1979) he saw me perform my routine at the Castle and told me that he too did that Toss Silent Link. Now, I had never seen Pete perform before and I feel safe in saying I was new to him as well. So this is certainly an example of parallel invention. Ray was there during my 'creative process' because we were two young kids working in a magic shop together 6 days a week...9 hours a day! What else did I have to do but practice and create ring moves?
(I guess I could have waited on customers, but that would have ruined the store's reputation LOL).. so after 5 or 6 months, I more or less 'had a routine' which I then set to music...and by the way...Ray had more than a small part in that too!

I was curious as Levent was, about the Chung Ling Soo routines mentioned above. I cannot imagine performing two Linking Ring routines in one show! Or did he mean "EACH of which I (alternately) performed in all my stage shows"? Anyway, I am sure he'll soon offer an opinion as to which is the better routine.

Pete- Interesting to hear your info about the origin of the trick. I guess I can no longer intro the rings as "the famous Chinese Rings...but rather as the heretofore unknown Spanish Rings?

All for now-
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 18, 2011 03:16PM)
Who knows, the Spanish did travel the seas and explore the world looking for gold and riches. It may be that is how they traded. Who really knows the actual origin. I will still refer to them as the Chinese Linking Rings.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 18, 2011 08:35PM)
I do remember Ralph Adams doing the more less standard 8 ring routine and then following it up with a linking rope routine. I was surprised it played so well. This was at Sea World in the 1970's.

Message: Posted by: Levent (Jun 18, 2011 10:26PM)
Hi Richard:

I loved watching Ralph Adams! When I saw him he did 10 rings! You're right, he used to follow up the rings with the E.J. Moore's Linking Ropes, with the same two spectators that helped him with the rings. The thing that I remembered the most was how well he did the Laurant Link!

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 19, 2011 05:52AM)
It also makes the point that how important it is to have the rings examined. Ralph made the rings seem unprepared because of the examination of the rings. But then he took it one step further and used common clothesline (yeah, I know most of the kids don't remember using a clothesline) to make it seem more natural and magical.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with him and video the entire show at Sea World. He had little twists to everything that the standard work for him.

Message: Posted by: kardini (Jun 28, 2011 06:47AM)
Here the partial routine "Immaterial Rings"(linking rings)fully in slow motion of the Brazilian magician KARDINI, using only TWO large silver rings on May 9, 2008 on TV (Only at the end of the routine appears a little third ring, interlaced in two large, symbolizing the birth after a symphony of art and love). Enjoy:

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 28, 2011 10:37AM)
Nicely done.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 28, 2011 12:24PM)
Yes, Well done.

lol... little did JNeal know what his little two ring routine would spawn for so many years. For years so many people did Vernon... then Post Richard Ross the manip boys did 3 rings (sometimes with the 4 ring add on)and now after Jonathan, the 2 ring routine evolved to become a de facto standard. Hopefuly he is proud!
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jun 28, 2011 12:55PM)
Great discussion.

I'd like to add that I saw Jonathon Pendragon do a ring routine back in about 1995 that was outstanding. Also, I saw Dick Gustafson do a ring routine with his wife. They somehow convinced the audience (and me) that they handed out every ring for inspection. Very impressive.

I started my ring routine 35 years ago by reading the Armature Magician’s Handbook which was mentioned earlier in this thread. Later I picked up moves by Richard Ross, Marc DeSouza and from Dariel Fitzkee’s text. Finally, Chris Capehart’s crash link and another move that has become my finale have rounded out my routine.

A few months ago I bought a bundle of books for a very good price at a magician’s estate sale. To my pleasant surprise it included a copy of Whit Hayden’s 4 ring routine (a very young looking Whit on the cover. ;) )
Message: Posted by: dahih beik (Jun 29, 2011 04:09AM)
The most magical linking rings routine is RICHARD ROSS
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jun 29, 2011 07:56AM)
I think I heard that somewhere before. :)
Message: Posted by: Dr_J_Ayala (Jun 29, 2011 08:21AM)
On 2011-06-17 10:29, Levent wrote:
On 2011-06-16 23:57, Dr_J_Ayala wrote:
It took a while for someone to mention the Chung Ling Soo routines, both of which I used to perform in all of my stage shows.

Dr J Ayala:

Can you tell me of the two Chung Ling Soo ring routines that you used to perform in your stage shows. Which one of the two routines got a better reaction from the audience?


I apologize for not noticing this question earlier! If you have the book called Rings In Your Fingers by Dariel Fitzkee you can find a description of what I consider to be the stronger routine. It is also found in a book called The Silence of Chung Ling Soo ($150 last time I saw a copy available).

This was a routine that had gone through many different changes and restructuring in the hands of the venerable Mr. Robinson (a.k.a. Chung Ling Soo), and it became his standard over the years. It has a lot of smooth transitions, a great way of counting the rings as singles, and it makes use of many beautiful figures, such as the Mask, the Hourglass, the Chinese Gong and the Fireball. It is well routined and was performed silently, no dialogue and no music. That was also the way I did it. I always strive to create my own magic with each effect that I do, but you have to agree here - when you have a classic (or at least what is nowadays considered classic) effect and it is done so perfectly, and you can do all the moves/motions in the routine extremely well, why change it? Imitation may be a form of flattery, but my intent was to preserve the very nature of the perfection of the effect and the routining as put forth by Chung Ling Soo.

Just as an example of someone taking a well-known and established routine and performing it exactly the way the creator did: Dan Watkins, a coin magician, performed The Tuning Fork exactly as set forth by David Roth in his Exoert Coin Magic book. He did it as a surprise at a previous New York Coin Magic Seminar and David loved it. It was just one of those things that was so perfectly routined and fine-tuned that there would have been no justice done if it had been even slightly altered.

I hope this information is useful to you and that I answered your question. Thanks for asking and I look forward to seeing your work with the rings when it comes out!
Message: Posted by: fonda57 (Jul 14, 2011 02:29PM)
On 2010-05-27 17:23, Slappy wrote:
Aldo Colombini has a great routine that uses two rings and a rope. I've never seen a routine like it and it transitions nicley into a couple of rope routines.

Anything Al Schneider does, is worth checking out.
[/quote]I agree on both counts
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 14, 2011 02:42PM)
I wonder how Levents DVD is coming? If it would be half as good as the Billiards, it should be wonderful.
Message: Posted by: cchesmark (Feb 9, 2016 11:50AM)
This looks pretty interesting: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S18679
Message: Posted by: magicsachin (Feb 9, 2016 10:28PM)
Chris Capehart's The Rings by Kozmomagic

Capehart's Three Ring Routine is the closest thing to magic.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 11, 2016 04:03AM)
I've "read the thread".

No one has even mentioned Karrell Fox's 3 ring routine.

I never owned any rings, until Jay Marshall returned from buying an estate, in 1970. He had a set of 10" Merv Taylor rings. I liked the "feel" of them. Jay said, "You get the "friendly" price." ($40.) I said, "Well, if I skip lunch, I can afford them." He said "I'll buy lunch." I said, OK"

I played with them over the summer, I worked out a non technical 5 ring routine. (not Jay's) That fall, I waited until I had an exceptionally good high school audience. I did the rings. INSTANT SUCCESS!!! I used them every high school the rest of the season.

About a year later, I was booked in a shopping mall in the Detroit area, Karrell Fox said, "Don't get a motel! The boys are at a summer camp. You can have their room. We'll have a convention every night! We did.

He GAVE me his 3 ring routine. (Two less rings to carry!) I sold the MT rings (at a handsome profit!) and, I've done Karrell's routine SINCE.

When Karrell died, I inherited HIS set of rings (now I have a backup)

J Neal's is marvelous! Dai Vernon's was beautiful. I like Chris Capeheart's too.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Feb 11, 2016 09:40AM)
Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Dick Odlund! You have put me in good company there! When I created that 2 ring routine , I was an 'artist'... Now many years later, I don't use it very much... So sooner or later, I'm going to put it out as a book or Dvd. Maybe lecture on the significant aspects of it.

What a lot of people don't know about me is that I did the Blacksone/ Gibson. 8 ring routine for years and I did a three ring routine as well as a store demo for Hollywood Magic when I worked there.
Message: Posted by: magicsachin (Feb 17, 2016 01:02AM)
Chris Capehart's The Rings & Jeff McBride Magic on Stage.................
Message: Posted by: Fazzio (Mar 4, 2016 12:55PM)
Jeff McBride Magic on Stage dvd is very good source of ideas.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 4, 2016 02:10PM)
To answer the original post, there is no "best" routine, the performer makes his routine the best for him and his audience.

Every published Linking Ring Routine is the "best", that is why they published it. It was the best for them and they were gracious enough to share it with the other magicians in the world.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Mar 4, 2016 04:08PM)
Here's a youtube video of Ralph Adams doing the linking rings: