Learn to Fight Like Tybalt (with better results)

posted by Jenny Dalzell on Thursday, Mar 14, 2013
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Nashville Ballet dancers Jon Upleger (left), Christopher Butler (back), and Judson Veach (center) work with fight coordinator Timothy Klotz. Photo by Anthony Matula, Courtesy Nashville Ballet

It may be The Rite of Spring’s year (Nijinsky’s masterpiece celebrates its centennial), but it’s Romeo and Juliet’s season. Pacific Northwest Ballet brought Jean-Christophe Maillot’s R&J choreography to New York City Center in February, New York City Ballet will remount Robbins' West Side Story Suite at Lincoln Center this May, and National Ballet of Canada performs Alexei Ratmansky’s 2011 version this weekend in Canada before taking it to Sadler’s Wells in April. (Even the recent tween rom-com Warm Bodies is a zombie-filled take on the Bard’s classic tale—minus the Prokofiev.)

 

Nashville Ballet will also revive the work about the doomed star-crossed lovers this spring, bringing its Romeo and Juliet to Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall April 26–28. Choreographed in 2004 by artistic director Paul Vasterling, it’s a giant production with plenty of sword fighting for action seekers. This week, the dancers have been working with London-based fight coordinator Timothy Klotz to learn how to safely—and realistically—wield swords. Klotz is the resident fight director at method-acting mecca The Drama Centre in London, and has created fight scenes for productions for Shakespeare’s Globe and the BBC.

 

This Saturday, March 16, Klotz is leading an open workshop on fight choreography from 12 to 1pm at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet. It’s open to the public ($10 per person), and interested dancers can register for the class online. Details here.