Stage Combat: Choreographing Fight Sequences

Over the past few weeks, our Year 9 Drama students have been taking part in stage combat sessions where they have been learning how to choreograph realistic fight sequences to implement in their performances. 

This is such a fantastic opportunity for our girls to develop their drama capabilities and learn skills to add to their repertoire. 

We spoke to Drama teacher, Kathryn Capozzi, to discuss what the girls learned in the sessions and why it is beneficial. 

What is stage combat?

Stage combat is a choreographed scene and technique used in theatre to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers.

What skills did the girls learn in the stage combat sessions?

From a movement point of view, the students learn things like body control, partnership, balance, flexibility and breathing. It’s an illusion of conflict with a whole lot of co-operation underneath.

How will the students use the skills they learned? Will there be a performance they are assessed on?

Over four lessons, students were taught a choreographed sequence using stage swords. They will pair this staged combat choreography with a Shakespearean fight scene, as part of their in class assessment this term.

Why is learning stage combat beneficial for students?

Participating in the stage combat sessions was an invaluable experience for the girls, where students are taught by industry professionals from Stage Combat Perth, the premier provider of stage combat services to the entertainment industry which also work with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and Black Swan State Theatre Company to create realistic performances.

We asked some students about their experience learning stage combat, here is what they had to say:

“Stage combat was an amazing experience for me and not one most people get to have. What I enjoyed most was when we had been taught all the moves, and I actually felt like I was in a movie battling my opponent. It was so fun and I hope to do it again in the future.” Asha Bhat

“Stage combat was a unique experience that helped me to extend my drama skills and add to my acting repertoire.” Beth Creasy

“Stage combat was interesting and fun to learn. I enjoyed learning the choreography for our upcoming assessment.” Angela Ross

Fantastic work, girls. We can’t wait to see how they apply their new skills in the future!

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