A Stage Combat Exemplar: Rick Sordelet

New York-based Rick Sordelet seems to be the most prolific fight director in America right now. The certification of Fight Director is a lot easier to attain in the U.S. than in Canada, so most of those certified aren’t really worth a damn. Rick is the opposite end of that spectrum: he has an excellent philosophy which he puts into practice getting phenomenal results in a huge number of productions every year.

Rick Sordelet is not only an excellent fight choreographer, he’s incredibly articulate. In this video, he says it better than most:
Sordelet Fight Director Video

Rick is in the news right now for his Romeo & Juliet, which he directed and fight directed in Philadelphia. Here’s a snippet from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

‘Romeo & Juliet,’ splendidly staged
The sexy, passionate Romeo and Juliet that opened last weekend at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is just what R&J should be: a mix of potent chemistry between the two teens that rips through a starry-eyed first half and a star-crossed second.

It’s directed with a command of both the characters and the language by Rick Sordelet, who also happens to be the busiest fight choreographer on Broadway; this season, he’s directed the brawling in the revival of Fences and the new musical The Addams Family. Sordelet also provides a historic link to this production: He did the fight scenes for Romeo and Juliet at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, on the campus of DeSales University near Quakertown, in 1992 – its inaugural season.

This time, he does double duty as director and fight director, and expect to see lavish swordplay, at one point with a Tybalt (Mike Rossmy) who brandishes a weapon in each hand as the characters swoop through Steve TenEyck’s simple but evocative set.
‘Romeo & Juliet,’ splendidly staged | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/27/2010

We’ve got to get this guy into Fight Directors Canada. I think an invitation to teach at next year’s Nationals would be an excellent opportunity to share expertise.

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