I'm a New York Based Fight Director and Intimacy Director. I've trained in multiple movement styles to round out my physical vocabulary - including Viewpoints, Lecoq, Filipino Martial Arts, Freestyle Staff Spinning, Action for Film. I hold certifications with the Society of American Fight Directors in all weapons offered and Theatrical Firearms Safety. Details on my Intimacy Training and Qualification are listed in my resume.
I am committed to constantly educating myself as an individual and facilitator. I believe in creating collaborative spaces that allow for discovery and growth. Regardless of the job, I maintain consent-forward practice, and work collaboratively with the actors and director to find story telling through movement that works within each individual's boundaries.
My work's aim is to make actors feel confident - with choreography that supports and enhances the story - thoughtfully designed for each individual.
"It explores men’s violence against women, ...it does so in a way that feels both dangerous and appropriately safe, provocative without being exploitative. It returns agency to Marie..."
— excerpt from NYTimes Critic's Pick review of Marie It's Time
"Leana Gardella is approachable, knowledgeable, and a consummate professional. In one hour she was able to whip our new recruits into fighting shape - they left our rehearsal with Leana feeling empowered, safe, & highly capable. And the product was as good as the process: despite close quarters, audience members had no clue how the violence had been choreographed! The actors went from being terrified of their weapons to managing them with confidence & grace."
— Caitlin Wells, Director of Year of the Monkey at The Tank