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Eurythmy as a Performing

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Eurythmy as a Performing Art


"In the beginning was the Word...
All things were made by him...
And the Word was made flesh..."

John 1; 1,3,14

Because human being is embodied Cosmic Word and the Music of the Spheres we can speak words, sing songs or play music. Usually we use our voice or musical instruments but in Eurythmy we speak or sing with our body. Our whole body thus becomes instrument of the soul.

Speech Eurythmy was the first and has become the most developed part of this new art of movement. For twelve years between 1912 and 1924 Rudolf Steiner gave numerous courses, lectures, instructions and indications how to express the sounds of speech - vowels and consonants, soul moods, colours, planets, zodiac signs, soul forces and thought forms etc. through the gestures, movement and forms in space. Although in many respects related to modern dance, ballet, drama or mime it is none of these but rather a mighty impulse of renewal of the sacred dance that used to be practiced in mystery temples for communicating with divine beings of the spiritual world. Today, though, it can be seen publicly and practiced by anybody, not just by a few initiated in ancient secret centres.

Tone Eurythmy came a little later and remained less developed than speech Eurythmy. Tones, intervals, chords, harmonies and disharmonies, minor and major, rhythm, melody, beat, pitch, duration and variety of tone, motive, phrasing, choreography and other musical elements expressed in the body language of Eurythmy form just a foundation of this new art. Several more courses of Tone Eurythmy were planned but could not be brought because of Steiner's death. Nevertheless, studying, practicing and performing a piece of music in Eurythmy can be a very complex process and watching Tone Eurythmy on stage can be a very oving experience.

Eurythmy in drama, humoresques, and imaginative rendering of fairy tales are other examples of possible use of Eurythmy as a stage art. It enhances other art forms, widens and enriches their means of expression.

There are only a few really professional stage ensembles in the world at the present time (New York, Stuttgart, Goetheanum) but many more groups cultivate this art in their free time while thousands of enthusiasts engage in it in trainings, schools, communities, homes, centres, public courses and social Eurythmy sessions all over the world.