How to do Lightsaber Choreography to Music
How to choreograph a lightsaber battle with music!
This summer Matt and I joined the Wasatch Saber Club. It’s a fantastic group of people who get together to perform choreographed lightsaber battles. This group gives us a great excuse to use our combat lightsabers that we got from Ultrasabers. I mean we love Star Wars so why not be the closest thing to a Jedi as you can be in this galaxy?!
Well word of my involvement in this group caught the attention of one of my coworkers who is a director of an after school music program. The kids are planning on performing Star Wars for one of their performances. She asked if I could come and help the kids choreograph a lightsaber battle to the music they were playing. Um… yes! How fun would that be!? The idea was that the orchestra would be using bows (they actually just ended up using sticks, so the bows aren’t ruined) with glow sticks attached to them to create makeshift lightsabers.
Being new to lightsaber combat though I was a little nervous about making it work with music. Matt and my little brother Matthew (who is not officially a part of the Wasatch Saber Club) were able to come with me. I think for our first attempt it worked out well! I learned a few important things through this experience and want to share with anyone who might be interested in working on their own choreographed lightsaber battle with music included. I created a lesson plan for anyone who wants to do this in a classroom or instructional setting. We taught kids in 30 minute sessions so that’s how the lesson plan is broken down. Here’s what I learned.
- Preparing to perform a choreographed lightsaber battle to music is similar to preparing for a dance recital. You must be able to have your movements flow with the rhythm of the music.
- You use the time signature of the music to help you figure out when to strike with your lightsaber. Sounds obvious, but after trying this out I don’t know how you could choreograph something to music without doing this.
Here’s my example of what we did:
The music that the kids were playing was in a four-four time signature. We used basic 1,2,3,4,5 moves as follows (more details are outlined in the lesson plan document):
One: Strike to shoulder
Two: Strike to shoulder
Three: Strike to knee
Four: Strike to knee
Five: Strike to head
We did each strike to each beat with the exception of the 5th strike which was held for four beats.
- You can have beginners with no experience using some form of saber weapon learn how to make a simple, but cool looking performance! As long as they know how to count and follow some sort of directions it can be done. …. Imagine how cool experienced combatants would look with some practiced choreography!
Here is the Lesson Plan Document