The taiji sword is an advanced level training tool.
One has to consider the taiji sword from 2 different perspectives. The sword as a weapon and the sword as an extension of the limbs.
I shall write something on the weapon aspect in the future.
The second aspect relates to empty-hand combat. It can further be sub-divided into 2 sub-headings:
1. Power enhancer: A sword used for power training is different from a demonstration sword. A "real sword" (like the one in the photo) should be used for the purpose of power training. A "real sword" is much heavier than a demonstration sword. Manipulating and making use of the weight of a "real sword" requires specific technique.
In a taijiquan form, it is the body that leads the limb. In a sword play using a "real sword" it is the limb that leads the body - the purpose is to enhance the flowing of power like "mercury in a bamboo pipe".
Apart from facilitating the power flow, the taiji sword form is designed to enhance the opening of the "Gate of Life" and the wrist joints. In most time of the sword play, the "gate" is opened. It also demands high flexibility of the wrist joints.
2. Application Techniques: The sword form embodied the advanced level application techniques in the taiji martial art system. Apart from the hand techniques, it has many complicated footworks.
Looking at the sword form from a different angle, you will have many interesting discoveries.
The sword play is not equal to sword dance.