Every story has a beginning and the story of the flow-wand began in South Africa in 2002 with a man named Hen. Sean and Prisna met Hen in Cape Town where he was making and selling what he called the Nimbus 2000 – a wooden magician’s floating cane that he decorated with fluorescent spray paint and presented as a modern yo-yo and juggling toy. It was the first time we had seen the magician’s floating cane outside of the stage magic context. He shared a few magic cane tricks with us, we went to a local trance party together, we got some wands from Hen to play and share with friends in the US. We enjoyed it for some weeks, but the novelty of the few moves we learned wore off and without further inspiration, our Nimbus 2000 sat collecting dust for months.
One day, while listening to some pretty music and feeling restless, Prisna picked up the wand and danced with it, exploring movement and possibilities outside of the tricks she knew, finding her flow with it. The result was pure magic. Not the tricksy-I-can-levitate-a-stick type of magic. But the kind of magic that threw open doors and presented a whole new way of connecting with an object and exploring movement. It was no longer about levitating a stick and making it do things, but about tuning into the wand’s momentum and allowing it to teach us to go with the flow and guide our movement.
Sean is always ready to make the perfect flow prop. He was inspired by Prisna's newfound discovery and designed a wand that handled like a dream. It was thin, dense and stiff – qualities that brought out the flow in the flow-wand. It was perfectly balanced and had a revolutionary swivelled finger loop. It was a joy to handle and play with. Our friends wanted it. Their friends wanted it. The rest is flow-wand history. That we have been imitated by flow arts and prop companies around the world is a testament to the awesomeness of the flow-wand, but the original flow-wand floats above the rest.
Prisna has been sharing the wonders of the wand for over 10 years – teaching at numerous flow arts workshops and festivals, and performing for countless audiences from San Francisco to Singapore to Switzerland. Together with Aileen Lawlor, we produced a foundational learning resource for the wand - Flow-wand Fundamentals, which is available in DVD and digital format.
We are grateful to Hen for his role in instigating something awesome that has inspired thousands of people around the world to move and be moved by this wonderful tool. Thank you Hen and all the magicians that have passed on the art of the floating cane. We are honored to be part of its evolution and to be taking it to new dimensions.