Learn about finger-tutting, the dance form that inspired spells on The Magicians

January 9, 2018

For those of you who wish that your illusions and sleight of hand actually involved supernatural powers, you may be interested to learn that The Magicians is returning for its third season on Syfy this week. There may not be much obvious overlap between modern magic acts and the feats on the show, but a video from The A.V. Club does dig into one very important similarity.

Choreographers Paul Becker and Kevin Li (stage name Shazam) helped the actors to learn the hand motions to accompany their different spells. The original inspiration for the movements came from finger-tutting, which you can see in action in the show’s first season above.

Practiced magicians know the importance of carefully, controlled hand movements in their acts. Some, like Shin Lim, make those moves key components of both the tricks, the misdirection, and the overall aesthetic of a performance. If you want some additional inspiration for just how dexterous and impressive finger-tutting is, check out the video of tutting expert John “Pnut” Hunt below: