Meet my Skin Tight…Fight Director!

Name:

Dan StylesDan Styles

Role within Company:

Fight Director

Your Background?

I began my professional career as an actor, but always had links to the ‘combat’ world whether through fencing, or re-enactment, or just playing Jedi knights in my mate’s back garden. I trained in all the disciplines of stage combat through 2003-4 and then went on to work in many productions involving fights. I began to build up a good deal of experience in fight performance and choreography and soon made the decision to take a teaching apprenticeship with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. Since completing that my work as a fight director, teacher and performer has really taken off.

How did you get involved with Skin Tight?

I had connections with both Angie (Angela Bull) and Jemma (Gross – Director), both through combat. Angie and I met on a swashbuckling workshop on the Golden Hinde ship, we literally got quite close when in one fight scene I had to fall on top of her. I met Jemma, also at a workshop, when she was working with another combat teacher colleague of mine. Later when Jemma was looking for someone to help with the R&D for Skin Tight and I volunteered as an actor and ‘under reader’. My involvement really went from there.

Favourite memory of rehearsals/show/tour from last year?

I have two if I’m allowed? The first was in one fight rehearsal where we’d just set a small fight from around the middle of the play, there’s a moment where Jonny hits Angie in the face and it was so realistic (due to their great performances) Jemma shrieked in shock. I still have a video of that.

DSC_1621My second is putting Angie and Jonny through their paces in the park when I created a warm up session for them to use throughout rehearsals. It was quite intense. He he he.

What are you up to at the moment?

(At time of writing) As a fight director I currently have a show playing at the Soho Theatre – ‘Pastoral’. I just completed choreographing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for a national tour with GB Theatre Company and I’m about to have a production called ‘Tomorrow I’ll be Happy’ play at the National Theatre, which is very exciting.

The next production I’m working on is a feature film called ‘Fear of Water’ starring Lily Loveless (‘Skins’) shooting throughout July.

I will also be teaching a workshop for Independent Drama in July on fighting in film. More details at www.independentdrama.com

Tom and Elizabeth share a lot of their own memories in the play what’s your favourite childhood memory?

A pivotal memory in my childhood was learning to ride a bike. My Dad would hold onto my seat and run along behind me, he’d let go without me knowing and I’d be doing it on my own until I realised he’d let go and panic and crash. There were some cuts and bruises along the way, but I kept getting up and eventually I got it. Now I go everywhere on my bike and I still never give up.

“first time i have ever worked on a fight where the weapon starts inside the body!” My favourite quote from Dan 2012

Knife work

 

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