The wonderful Simon Singh sent me this clever little video….

Did it impress you?


  1. No. It’s rubbish. What’s the point of it? Are we supposed to think that they are the woman’s arms? Even though we can clearly see the edges of her shouders and arms throughout?

    1. I thought he looked like a very fit dancer. Beyond that, I don’t know him well enough to have a really strong opinion of him personally.

  2. It was fun and expressive. And might even get us thinking a bit, after all that’s one of the things art does. So, yeah, I like it., why not.

  3. I agree, the screen before you click play gives it all away. that means you look for her shoulders, etc, that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise

  4. Erm. I’m not sure that this is supposed to be an optical illusion or anything. It’s from the film Pena which is about contemporary dance (a good film if you like that kind of thing).

  5. Interesting idea, but even without the initial screen it´s too easy to spot. Use at bigger bodybuilder next time, and zoom out a little.

  6. The trouble with it being posted here is that your correspondents all see it as a trick, to be guessed – like your Friday Puzzle and the optical illusions – hence comments about the initial screen shot ‘giving it away’.
    Just goes to show that context is everything: if Darcey Bussell had posted this clip, the comments would have been very different.
    Incidentally, I think it’s beautiful.

  7. I thought it was lovely

    Spotted the ‘trick’ a couple of seconds before the reveal, but that didn’t make it any less enchanting.

  8. I agree with Alan Jewell, I think it’s a piece of art that doesn’t have to be “worked out”, and it’s absolutely lovely. Incidentally, I only spotted what was going on halfway through, but I think I would have liked it even if I’d known from the start.

  9. It’s a nice act, and as well executed as possible I guess, but not an “illusion” (as Richard calls it in his tweet about this post). As pointed out many times, you can clearly see the edge of her shoulders, and you can clearly see his torso behind hers. I wasn’t surprised when the guy emerged from behind her, so as an illusion it is not impressive in the least and it has no place here.

  10. I don’t think it’s meant to “fool” anyone. The first time I saw it I rather liked it simply as an odd performance bit.

    Not sure where the negativity is coming from, you guys nkow it cool to just not like something right? That alone doesn’t make something “rubbish” or “shit”

    If I’m not mistaken this is from a new film by Wim Wenders.

  11. I liked it a lot. It was creepy looking and surprising. Upon 2nd viewing, it looked obvious but that’s the way the “element of surprise” works for magic, too.

  12. It’s dance theater, not a magic show. It’s not supposed to be an optical illusion beyond a one second “what the… oh, I see” effect.

    That said, it didn’t impress the Oscar Academy, either, unfortunatly.

  13. Two things entered my mind when I was watching the video 1) Looks like a man dressed like a female and 2) Her arms looks funny. Didn’t notice the outline of her arms until it was pointed out to me via the comments.

  14. It’s a well done and neat little video. As has been said, it’s not the standard illusion that we’re used to seeing Richard post, but it’s a fun video.

  15. My first thought that something was amiss but I couldn’t think of it immediately. I was surprised at my depth perception picking up on the arms being off in some way. Kind of cool…

  16. Left me indifferent. I noticed the shadows in her left shoulder were off and that gave the game away before they even started moving.

  17. I find this utterly beautiful and compelling. In addition to being gorgeous, thought-provoking choreography the facial acting done by the woman is flawless. It’s a change of pace from the type of thing Richard usually posts but a very welcome one.

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