Watch one of the most incredible fight scenes ever staged

Originally published at: Watch one of the most incredible fight scenes ever staged | Boing Boing


Theatre and cinema both require the suspension of disbelief. We’re just so used to “movie magic” handing everything to our vision on a silver platter. Go to more (and better) plays–they’re doing amazing things these days. There’s also something to appreciate in the ingenuity and craft of even simple in-theatre effects. Sure, you can see the stagehand in the black leotard moving things around, but you’re meant to ignore them, and it’s part of the viewer-performance contract that you mentally edit them out and just appreciate the scene. (At least, that is my view on it.)


Just wait until the Mandalorian-style color-matched retina LED walls with unreal engine get to the stage.


Ttepid applause from the audience. We used to see this stuff all the time on America’s Got Talent. Back when we watched AGT.

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I saw Cavalia years ago (the only animal show approved by Cirque du Soleil because the horses are never in any danger at least at the time), and there was one breathtaking sequence where a woman and horse performing dressage (horse dancing), were mirrored by the same sequence projected onto a film of mist behind them on stage.


This is cool, no doubt, but grading it as a “fight scene” it’s limited by the flat 2-dimensional space and can’t compare to a Jackie Chan scene for sure. It reminds me of the battles I used to animate in books by flipping the pages–especially the part where he smacks the sword thru the air to impale the opponent.

The collective that created it has a lot of cool stuff on their web site, in all forms of media. I was rather taken by this “one-stroke bench”

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Video link for the BBS


I don’t know, I’ve seen some pretty good stage musicals that were very impressive and I had no trouble getting into.

The full blown productions of Les Miserable, Mrs. Saigon, Mama Mia were pretty spectacular. But even smaller productions like Beautiful or Jersey Boys always get me.

We have an excellent theater in Detroit, The Fisher, that brings in some big productions but I gotta get to Broadway when this virus passes or at least Toronto again.

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Cavalia was awesome (though I’ll note, run by past Cirque members, not actually a Cirque show). The scene you mention was also one that really got me - not only for the reasons you cite, but also how the falling water somehow dried up instantly in the sand for the next act.

Performance art is a wonderful thing - whether it’s a magician, the Phantom of the Opera disappearing at the end of the play, amazing feats like those performed in Cavalia/Odysseo or Cirque du Soleil, or indeed, stage combat like this. It’s a delight to come across, and really changed my views on what was possible in front of a live audience, as well.


The first thing this reminded me of was Kathy Rose’s PRIMITIVE MOVERS which I saw WAY back in 1983 when she first performed it at a Film Festival at SIU Carbondale in 1983.

Not an elaborate fight scene but for a Performance Piece in 1983 it was pretty good.


Just gonna say that. The guy prancing around on stage gets all the applause but in reality the graphics designer and technical imagineers do all the heavy lifting.

Rather see two people with actual swords going at it, the stakes are higher.

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We just went to see a live production of A Christmas Carol, and the truly creepy stage effects were one of the most delightful aspects of the play. Marley shooting up onto the stage through a trapdoor with fans and smoke and flashing lights coming with him just as suddenly, the spirits of want and ignorance played by small children who came skittering in on all fours with shreds of stained, tattered fabric hanging from every part of their bodies, moving their limbs in strange jerks and at odd angles, the lights dancing over them so you could only see them in glimpses. The fact that the effects were being done live, that you could see exactly how they were done and hear the smoke machine hiss and the trapdoor slam open only made them that much more impressive.


From what i understand Japanese audiences tend to be very polite (usually). I’ve listened to podcasts with artists mentioning that the audiences in concerts would be very reserved and quiet to the point that American musicians that weren’t familiar with the culture there would lose confidence because in their mind they were bombing and doing terribly since all they were getting back was stony expressions. There’s one story that comes to mind where James Brown was singing and dancing his ass off out of spite because the crowd wasn’t reacting to him, backstage he was later told that the crowd was immensely impressed and loved the performance.

It’s probably not always the case but it’s a thing. So hearing the reserved clapping at the end tracks with the little bit i know.


I get some Samurai Jack vibes from it:


Oh, I get that about Japanese audiences At professional wrestling shows, they are quite subdued with polite applause only when someone kicks out of a pin attempt. I didn’t make the connection.


Ah, the Quivering Paw Technique! I am no match for your superior Kat-fu!

@tcg550 I really like minimalist stage sets that imply the setting. I saw a great two-hander with Jeremy Brett and David Burke reprising their roles as Holmes and Watson. The set was a large screen (on to which were projected one of Dore’s engravings of London), a massive red curtain, and a few, simple cane chairs. With just that we were treated to 221b Baker Street, a train ride, and several other settings. It was so cleverly done, with lighting and sound filling out the ambiance.


Sammy Davis Jr had the exact same experience as Brown in Japan, including being told that the audience really enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure I saw him relate the story on Cavet.

@euansmith I am super jealous of you getting to see Brett and Burke live. had no idea they did a Holmes stage show.


Even now, some stage productions have yet to catch up to what Broadway was up to decades ago in order to draw crowds (notwithstanding featuring big name actors with no singing/dancing skills). I thought I’d seen it all in Le Miserable, and the Show Boat revival. But Ligeti’s Le Grande Macabre opera (its Barcelona production) takes the cake. A gigantic sculpture of a woman (caught in mid heart attack, per the plot) that spins around as needed to allow full view of sections of her body opening up to allow access by the numerous singers, each representing some aspect of her bodily functions. The sculpture also serves as a massive screen for numerous computer-controlled projectors that uncannily change the look of the sculpture and give it facial expressions.


I’ve never been partial to vegetables, but these brownies with shredded carrot in them aren’t half bad!

Sorry… What were we talking about again?