The Florida Grand Opera is gearing up for their next show, Don Giovanni, and if you're comfortable sword fighting then strap on some tights and head over to Doral Center Rehearsal Studio on February 15 for your chance to earn a paying, non speaking, non singing role in the production as a "Super Fighter." But don't think dramatically stabbing someone in the heart is a walk in the park; stage fighting is some heavy shit, and some people take it very seriously.
Bruce Lecure, head of movement training for the Department of Theatre Arts and the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at the University of Miami, is helping FGO cast fighters for Don Giovanni, and Cultist recently caught up with him to learn what it takes to be a great stage fighter, whether ninjas or dancers make better swordsmen, and what advice he has for Don Giovanni hopefuls.
"If you are not an excellent actor, you will not be capable of creating
the illusion of violence that the audience will believe," says Lecure. "Technique
alone is not good enough."
New Times: Bruce, what's your favorite fight scene of all time?
Bruce Lecure: I am pretty fond of the sword fighting scene in Rob Roy with Liam Neeson and Tim Roth. I also love the spectacle and grand scale of the fights in Braveheart.
Is choreographing a fight scene for stage more difficult than
choreographing one for film or television?
Both mediums are very challenging. Fighting on stage is in front of a live audience, where the audience is seeing the entire body of the performer--you only get one chance to get it right.
Fighting on camera allows for a second try, and the ability of the camera
shot to decide what you want the audience to see or not see, but one must fight much quicker, and with more precision.
Does being a good fighter on stage translate into being a good fighter
on the street?
Absolutely not! On the stage we are trained to miss. We are creating
an illusion for the audience. While believability is at the core of
creating the illusion, safety is the number one priority.
Who would make a better swordsman on stage, a ninja or a dancer?
Neither. Technique is only a portion of the challenge. One must be a skilled actor, an athlete, as well as a skilled technician.
What advice do you have for someone hoping to land a role in Don Giovanni?
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Auditions for Don Giovanni Super Fighters take place on Tuesday, February 15, at Doral Rehearsal Studio ( 8390 NW 25th St; Miami FL 33122), from 7-9pm. Contact FGO Stage Manager, LisaMichelle Eigler, at Leigler@fgo.org for an application, or call (305) 854-1643.