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“The one-move recommended pass.”

May 11, 2010

A few of my smallsword compatriots crashed an NYU rapier-dagger/unarmed SPT the other night. It was fun watching the mix of scenes, since the former tended to be period pieces and the latter modern, including a memorable scene from The Sopranos and wow, Turner and Rin doing Tybalt and Mercutio. (Something incredibly affecting about her death: there’s not enough crying in stage combat. We grunt, strangle, shout, and breathe meaningfully, but Rin got stabbed and she cried, and Turner stabbed her again as she was crying. ::sniff::)

Our scene from Lorca’s Blood Wedding went pretty well, I think; all I know is that we didn’t screw up majorly and we remembered to use Dan O’Driscoll’s lovely suggestions, made a mere two hours before the test (a change in blocking to make the slap work from the adjudicator’s chair, clarifying a spot where I needed to chase her and one where I needed to move, then parry).

Part two, with three weapons testing, took ages; it was fun to watch for a while, but by the end of the night, I was practically gnawing on my water bottle.

The pairs got recombined, and Brimmer and Tink showed us the part two they’d worked out, a little beat-thrust-deceive-deceive-find-froissement-coupĂ©-handbeat-thrust-HOLY CRAP. (Tink added that last part, surprise.) The HOLY CRAP: I parried in 3, stepped into it with my already-forward left foot, and grabbed Tyrus’s sword wrist with my left hand while bringing my sword behind my own back to land on his back. It takes much longer to describe than do; it’s an explosive moment, and I spent 90% of our practice time fouling up the footwork. But when I finally stopped doing Chinese opera feet (bringing my right foot forward and tucking my knees together when my sword came around my back) and realized that we were making a long picture rather than a coiled picture, wow, it was fun. And then when Tyrus and I presented it, Brimmer shouted “YES!” as my sword landed on Tyrus’s ribs, and his face, only inches from mine, froze in terror. That felt good, and afterward, Turner — quite rightly, and with all goodwill — called it “the one-move recommended pass.” Whew! While I was sorry that the scene and fight that we’d rehearsed wasn’t what did it, thank goodness for part twos. And what better way to end the night than with a Sprite and some 90’s radio hits at a nearby bar?

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