Stage combat packs a punch at Festival of the Wind

A 25-year-old woman from Esperance was teaching children how to beat each other up during Festival of the Wind… at least, that’s what it was meant to look like.

Stage Combat Perth instructor Nastassja Kruger said she was brought to town by the festival committee to run workshops on unarmed fighting.

“Stage combat is an adaptation of real life fighting and then translating it in a way that is safe for performers and looks really good and convincing,” she said.

“I go around and I instruct students, whether it’s at university or at high school, how to do the basic stage combat moves.”

The former Esperance resident said she taught festival goers basic unarmed techniques for stage, such as punches and slaps. 

“What I do is teach them the skills to be able to perform the moves,” she said.

“Then we put together a little choreography scene and then we just show each other.”

Ms Kruger said she started stage combat in her final year of studying a bachelor of contemporary performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

“When I got in my final year there I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life,” she said.

“I was lucky because in my last year I actually was enrolled in a unit called stage combat and I had no idea what it was, but I did it.”

This is where she met her mentor and Stage Combat Perth founder Andy Fraser.

“He jokingly one day went ‘I need an apprentice to clean my swords’ and I kind of went ‘I could do that’,” she said.

Ms Kruger said she had been working with Mr Fraser for three years since then.

Ms Kruger will turn 26 years old on March 26.