October 27, 2016
Oliver, Year 11, Century Park Campus
On October 10, IGCSE drama students from our Gubei Campus came to Century Park Campus to join our drama students for a ‘stage sword combat’ workshop. A professional in stage combat, Mr. London Summers, who had worked as a sword combat choreographer and actor for over nine years, came to YCIS for the day to teach the drama students the basics of stage combat skills.
The session began with a thorough warm up, which involved everyone standing in one large circle, performing stretching techniques. After that, we were given wooden swords. Our first activity was learning how to move accurately when holding a sword, which is similar to the movement used in fencing (one foot leads, the other follows shortly after). Doing this was quite a deal more challenging than I had expected, and at one point I stepped on my classmate Maxine's foot… sorry about that!
After learning how to move back and forth with the sword, we learned about the types of swings. For example, a swing to an opponent's left foot is called a "one". We learned about eight of these swings, and in case you were wondering; yes, they were all named numerically, from one to eight. We were then allowed to practice these swings with a partner, with our counterpart doing the corresponding ‘block’ to each number we were told to ‘strike’. I should add that we weren't trying to break one another's bones or anything -- we definitely swung slowly!
After rotating around a range of partners, we took a break for lunch, and when we came back we had set partners. I worked with a student from Gubei Campus who had some awesome skills with her sword.
Four people from Gubei Campus were then elected to take part in a small dialogue from the world-famous play, Romeo and Juliet, and there was a ‘combat scene’ to follow. e gave our thanks to our instructors, and bid farewell to the Gubei Campus students. Overall, the day was a blast; superbly interactive and awesomely fun.