2016 Midwinter Stage Combat Seminars announcement .pdf

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Gird yourself for battle! Yes, it’s time for…
For two action-filled weekends, the “A Team” of Clifford Allen and Robert Isaacson will be teaching a
series of stage combat classes, covering performance, technique, and a variety of weapon forms. In
addition, we’re thrilled to announce that veteran director and SAFD Certified Teacher Angela Bonacasa
will be joining us a special guest instructor!
As always, our 13th annual Seminars will consist of intensive instruction in various stage combat
disciplines, encompassing performance aspects as well as weapons technique. While demanding, most
classes are suitable for all levels of experience. This year we offer the following:
Created with the performer in mind, this session concentrates on transforming the fight from practice to
performance, and translating mere technique into something that wows the audience. Instruction includes
the mechanics of intention, the “arc of battle”, selling the drama, and fighting as a character. (Primary
instructor: Cliff)
Our most popular course! A rapid introduction to the footwork, principal parries, and primary attacks of
the most iconic of warrior’s blades. This seminar is designed to reinforce the fundamentals of fighting
with the broadsword, and to introduce some advanced and two-hand techniques. Form, endurance and
blade control will all be stressed… be ready for a workout! (Primary instructors: Cliff & Rob)
This seminar will cover the offensive and defensive use of the quarterstaff, incorporating elements of both
traditional Eastern forms and the style of the English Middle Ages. Training will include footwork,
parries and strikes in both long and short forms. The seminar will culminate with instruction on
transitioning to pole arm techniques. (Primary instructors: Cliff & Rob)
Building on the techniques of the Broadsword Boot Camp class, this seminar adds the power and
protection of the shield. The footwork, parries, and attacks covered earlier will lead into more complex
maneuvers, with particular focus on the synergy of the two weapons and on utilizing the shield
offensively. (Primary instructor: Rob)
Seen most often in contemporary plays, the knife holds a special place in an actor's understanding of stage
violence. Its style varies widely, appearing in musicals such as West Side Story as well as works by Sam
Shepard. After covering the basic concepts of cuts, thrusts and footwork, we'll explore blocks, counter
attacks and other techniques to gain a better understanding of the truth of the weapon, and its translation
to different styles. (Primary instructor: Angela)
Your body is a weapon; use it! This session is literally “hands on”, as we’ll concentrate on the effective
use of contact moves in a theatrical setting, with emphasis on safe areas of contact, controlled energy and
shared responsiveness. A variety of kicks, strikes, grappling and countering techniques will be covered.
(Primary instructor: Rob)

Based on the classic film fighting of Douglas Fairbanks, Basil Rathbone, and Errol Flynn, we'll explore
the elements that make this cinematic style so popular: crisp and precise footwork, flashy bladeplay,
impeccable timing, and of course, a soundtrack. Using these technical standards of the style, we'll add a
special focus on character, transitions, and story. (Primary instructor: Angela)
Explore the mysteries of the Destreza! This session will introduce the principles and practice of twoblade fighting on the Spanish Circle. Participants will concentrate on precise footwork and distance, the
offensive and defensive interplay of both weapons, and combined parries and attacks. (Primary
instructor: Cliff)
THE DATES: The Seminars will run on Jan. 30-31 and Feb. 6-7.
THE PLACE: All seminars will take place at VDA Productions, 63 Inner Belt Road, Somerville, MA.
Directions are available from the VDA website: go to http://www.vdaproductions.com/contactoff.html and click on “Get Directions”.
THE SCHEDULE: Each single session is three hours long: early sessions run 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM,
afternoon sessions run 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

10:00 – 1:00
2:00 – 5:00

Acting the Fight
Death on a Stick


10:00 – 1:00
2:00 – 5:00

Broadsword Boot Camp
Hardcore Sword & Shield


10:00 – 1:00
2:00 – 5:00

Spanish Rapier & Dagger
Swashbuckling 101


10:00 – 1:00
2:00 – 5:00

Knife: The Cutting Edge
Percussive Unarmed

THE COST: The cost per session is $45.00.
Taking both sessions on a given day nets you a $10.00 discount ($80.00 for the day).
We also offer an additional discount to “full weekend” actor/combatants: signing on for all four sessions
on a given weekend costs a flat fee of only $150.00, for a total savings of $30.00.
SIGNING UP: E-mail Cliff at cliff@vdaproductions.com and list what sessions you want to attend. Be
sure to detail your previous stage combat experience, if any. Payment is on the day at the start of class, by
cash or check; advance payment is not necessary.
Our class sizes have to be limited due to space restrictions, so first come, first served. By the same token,
if you sign up, show up! If you have to cancel for any reason, you must contact us immediately and let us
know, so we can open the slot up to someone else who’s waiting for it.
Gloves are strongly recommended for all classes. Wear comfortable clothing that allows free movement,
and that you don’t mind sweating in. Participants who have their own stage combat equipment are
encouraged to bring it; if you will be doing so, please tell us in your sign-up e. Equipment will be
provided for participants who don't have their own.
Feel free to contact us with questions. Hope to see you there!

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