Dance and Magic

Ex-belly dancer Susan Eyed teams with math/magic wiz Roland Sarlot

Susan Eyde, former belly dancer, is now Susan Eyed, magician extraordinaire.

The Tucson dancer once ran the "ethno-modern" dance troupe Hadia Sahara, famed for its contemporary take on belly dance. Now renamed Eyed, she has teamed up with Roland Sarlot for an act filled with movement.

The Tucsonans regularly travel the country performing their Carnival of Illusion, but this spring, they've alighted for three months in their hometown. Booked into a small space at the Doubletree Hotel gussied up to look like a Victorian parlor, the hardworking duo performs everything from card tricks to a sword dance. The humor is slightly hokey, the movement elegant, and the magic astonishing.

On a recent Saturday evening, the pair's grapefruit trick was the most breathtaking. A random audience member signed his name to a $20 bill he pulled out of his own wallet. Sarlot took the cash; after a series a dazzling moves and legerdemain, he sliced open an uncut grapefruit. There, inside the fruit, was the bill—all sticky and wet.

Sarlot is a math genius who designed astronomy instruments at the UA Mirror Lab before turning to magic full-time.

For a math trick, Eyed first showed the audience a blank piece of paper, then rolled it up and held it in her hands. I was randomly selected to name a year that was important in my life. No sooner had I said 1990 than Eyed unrolled the banner, with 1990 now written clearly in the middle.

Sarlot whipped out a big piece of graph paper. Going into a trance, he rapidly filled all 16 squares with numbers. Then he turned to the audience and demonstrated his math magic: the four figures in every single row—vertical and horizontal—added up to the number 1990. So did the diagonal rows, as did the square of four figures in the middle.

Eyed hasn't given up her dancing. She switches from one dramatic costume to the next, and in the sword dance, she twirled around with a large saber in her hand—and stabbed a playing card flying through the air.