He came. He saw. He conquered. Dimitri Arleri appeared on the cardistry scene in 2009 with a breakthrough video entitled Opera. His diligent work and outside the box thinking put cardistry enthusiasts around the world on notice: Dimitri is here, and he means business. His style is unique - involving complex geometric shapes and smooth, fluid movements.
Based in Paris, France, Dimitri has since released multiple follow up presentations to rave reviews. Each presentation demonstrates that same elegance and perfection that Dimitri is known for - constantly raising the bar. Dimitri released Monument, his debut cardistry DVD, in 2013.
Q&A with Dimitri Arleri
What got you into Cardistry?
Back in 2007 during high school, a friend shown me some cheating techniques while playing poker, I found it fascinating so I tried to learn a few moves. He gave me Steve Forte's book and that was what got my started with cards. Only a few weeks later, while I was looking up some magic videos on Youtube, I stumbled upon a cardistry video for the first time. I think it was Void Deck, by Kevin Ho. I was immediately hooked. I did some further research into this new art form and that's how I came across Decknique. I quickly realized that cardistry suited me a lot better than magic, so I started practicingâ¦ And the better I got, the more I enjoyed it.
When did you start creating - not just performing - card flourishes?
Well, I started right away actually, since it's the thing I enjoy the most in cardistry. When I think about it now, it is probably not the best idea if you want to become good really fast, but it's what I enjoy... So yeah at first I was creating either flourishes that sucked, or stuffs that was already been done before that I never herd about, but then I slowly began to have some more interesting ideas, and that's when it became really fun !
How long do you practice each day?
It's really hard to say how much I practice, because it changes everyday. When I first started I practiced a lot, sometimes up to 6 or 8 hours a day. It still happens nowadays, but not very often, I sometimes have a big motivational or creative boost that just pushes me. But most of the time now, I guess it's somewhere between 1 and 2 hours a day. Of course it happens that I don't touch a deck for a few days or weeks, but that's also pretty rare.
Who are your favorite performer(s) to watch?
There's a lot of very talented cardists out there that I love to watch, like Jonas Haglund, Andrei Jikh, Jaspas Deck, Alejandro Portela, Sebastian Skowron, De'vo, Kevin Ho, Dan and Dave and a lot more.
What advice would you give to those who are just starting cardistry?
I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should have fun. Don't try to be the best, and don't take it too seriously at first. You'll get better without even noticing if your just having fun. It's also important that you learn the very basics if you want to be able to create good stuff later on. I didn't learn the basics at first and it turned out that I had to re-learn a lot of moves, so it felt a little like wasted time, (yeah I learned the one handed shuffle not so long ago).
What's next? What vision do you see for the future of cardistry?
Well I really hope that more and more people will join the art, so that it doesn't have to be mostly on the internet, but more in real life. We're still at a beginning stage so the art will go through a lot of changes in the years to come. I hope to see more people performing live for laymen, more cardists meeting up, and maybe some worldwide cardistry conventions who knows ?!
What is your deck of choice to use when practicing and performing?
Well I don't pay too much attention to the deck I use, as long as it's decent. I'm not really a card collector, so I usually have the cheapest "good" cards... actually, I've only bought a single brick of Tally-Ho's, and less than 10 other decks (for some reason my cards last forever). I had the chance to be given some decks by a few awesome people, so I tried a few different ones, but I think I enjoy the classics the most, so basic Bicycle's and Tally-Ho's.
What can we expect to see in your debut project later this year?
Well I've been creating moves since I started handling cards, and in this dvd I will teach many of my favorite creations that I have come up with these past 4 years. You will find some new fans, one and two handed cuts, aerials, structures and new concepts; some very easy to learn, and some extremely challenging. Not only I will teach my favorite moves, but I'll also try to teach HOW to create moves, with all the tips, theories, and ideas that I collected through my journey.