The leviwand is an object manipulation discipline where the practitioner controls a seemingly floating stick. It has its origins in the magic world as early as mid-1800s and is known as the “Dancing Cane” trick.(1)
It is a delicately balanced stick with a string attached through a hole somewhere along the middle, and is usually connected to the practitioner. Physics allows the stick to remain upright as it is spun around, making the illusion of a cane that dances or a wand that levitates.
Why are there different names?
Since its introduction in the movement arts around the 2000s by flowtoys, leviwand’s name has gone through a few iterations such as levitation stick, levistick, levitation wand, and even flowtoy’s “flow-wand” trademark became a commonly used name for the prop. It was recently that the community informally agreed that the “leviwand” name be used since there were other stick-based props – such as baton, staff, devil sticks, etc. – but none used the word wand before, making it easier to identify. Regardless of these variations in name, they all refer to the same prop so don’t be confused!
You’ve probably seen it before.
More than in a magic show, the leviwand can now be seen performed in artistic theater stages, corporate shows, variety shows, fire shows, raves, parties, festivals, and circus stages, even some movies, among others. It came in various forms – from sparkly day wands to fiery leviwands, from LED light-up wands to high-tech visual wands. There are also leviwands with silk tails, and even a bubble leviwand!
It comes in different styles.
This floating stick’s growing popularity also spawned different styles of the leviwand. From the illusion-based dancing cane with invisible string, to movement-based flow-wand™ (2) which has durable string for intense dancing. Variations in string lengths were also recognized as different styles – aptly named short string and long string styles. Contact wanding also became a prominent style in the flow arts circuit with its infusion of contact staff techniques.
Other notable styles are:
- Double wand – with two leviwands, both in short and long string variations or a combination thereof
- The Vortex/Kitty Wrench(3) – where two leviwands are attached to each other, not directly attached to the practitioner
- Wooping – a combination of leviwand (short or long) and an unattached hula-hoop
- Partner leviwand – two practitioners manipulating one leviwand
- Circus style – incorporates dance techniques and acrobatic moves
Ehrlich’s Leviwand Method
Since innovating the circus style of leviwand, I have come to explore and develop Ehrlich’s Leviwand Method – one that integrates illusion, movement, dance, and acrobatic techniques. It is a method that resonates and inspires with its combination of the magic roots of the dancing cane, the physical expression of flow-wand™, the impressive stunts of circus, and the showmanship and storytelling of theater.
Whether you’re creating artistic pieces, jaw-dropping performances, or just jamming in festivals or flowing by yourself – it is a flexible method that you could translate to different energies.
- “Dancing Cane” by Austro-Hungarian illusionist Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser in the mid-1800s [https://www.lybrary.com/johann-nepomuk-hofzinser-m-19.html]
- flow-wand is a registered trademark of flowtoys, a company who introduced the prop in the flow and movement arts.
- The Vortex is a magic trick by Jeff McBride, and Kitty Wrench is attributed to Charlie Cushing