WHAT IS EURYTHMY?
Eurythmy is a movement art that gives expression to the sounds, atmosphere and imagery in the spoken word and music. Dramatic Eurythmy is used in plays and for the expression of dramatic texts and epic poetry; Symphony Eurythmy enables the movement expression of orchestral music where the eurythmists individually or in groups, bring to expression the different voices in the score.
In Tone Eurythmy, every musical note and interval has a gesture, every nuance of pitch, harmony and rhythm has a form in space which is expressed in relation to the other performers on stage. When we begin to recognize these patters and forms through observing the music and letting it effect our bodies and feeling life, we can bring music into a visibly satisfying expression where sound and movement are one and the same. Tone Eurythmy as it is called, is also known as Visible Singing.
In Speech Eurythmy, a poem is taken up and explored as a whole to discover what the poet is saying . The relationship between the images in the poem, the words and the sounds themselves are explored. Through this exploration we can discover how the sounds of the vowels and consonants forming the words uncover a picture that surpasses the intellectual aspect . In this way we can have a richer experience of poetry and dramatic text whereby the words are felt and experienced and not merely intellectually understood. Brining this to performance, the atmosphere, dynamic and inner movement are all given expression through the gestures of the body in space and the relationship of the eurythmists on stage.
Eurythmy differs from dance in that the eurythmist takes the elements of speech: vowels consonants, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, etc. or the musical score, tones, intervals, harmonies and musical laws, and creates through the human body's capacity for movement and feeling, a visual expression of this on the stage. In this way, the body becomes an instrument.
Eurythmy was created by the Austrian intellectual, philosopher and artist, Rudolf Steiner who, when he was approached by a young woman wanting to become a dancer, developed a new art form out of the movement capacities of the human body and the skeleton, the etheric i.e. the natural world, and the laws of speech and music . The first indications where given to Lori Maier -Smits in 1911 and developed further from 1912 in Steiner's four Mystery Dramas and Goethe's Faust which were performed at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. The Dionysian course was given by Steiner in 1912 and the Apollonian course in 1915. In 1924 two lectures cycles were given by Steiner and published as: Eurythmy as Visible Speech and Eurythmy as Visible Singing. Eurythmy was developed further through Dr. Steiner's wife , the actress and creative speech artist, Marie Steiner (Marie von Sivers) and by many other Eurythmists including the stage artists and directors Tatiana Kisselef, Margarita Woloschin, Lea van der Pals, Else Klink and many others who toured extensively world wide until the 1990's.
In Europe, Eurythmy is practiced in schools, hospitals, rehabilitations and correctional centers. Social eurythmy as a means of personal and professional development is being practiced in Holland and parts of central Europe in corporate companies and organisations.
The largest stage companies for eurythmy are The Else-Kilink Ensemble in Germany and The Goetheanum Stage in Switzerland. There are many other performing companies in Europe, Britten and America such as the Phoenix and Mistral Eurythmy ensembles. There are dozens of trainings world wide from Africa, China, Israel, England, America and Australia, Russia, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and many more.
Eurythmy is a non-denominational, non-gender specific form of movement that embraces and celebrates all cultures. Movement and dance reach beyond religion, gender, age and race, building a bridge between the individual and the social experience. Eurythmy was given as a movement art for stage performance, it was subsequently developed by Steiner as a social and educational tool (found in every Waldorf school) and as a therapeutic practice. Therapeutic or Curative Eurythmy was developed by Rudolf Steiner together with doctors and medical practitioners and is also practiced widely through out the world.