The Goetheanum is not the only piece of artistic work initiated by
Dr. Rudolf Steiner. The production of the four Mystery Plays in
1910–18, involving great technical and artistic difficulties, has
already been mentioned. In music also, new work is being done within
the Anthroposophical Movement.*
Simultaneously with the production of the Mystery Plays, Dr. Steiner
began to evolve the new art of movement known as “Eurhythmy.”
In recent years, this has become one of the most fruitful and far-reaching
of the independent activities initiated by the Anthroposophical Movement.
A brief reference to Eurhythmy and its underlying principle has already
been made, in the chapter by Arild Rosenkrantz (pp. 93–95). See also
the references in the Bibliography: 182, 184, 259, 260, 261, 297, 298.
Eurhythmy as a fine art is chiefly connected with recitation, poetry
music and drama. Lyrical poems, satirical and humorous pieces, scenes
from Goethe's Faust and other dramatic representations have been given,
and with ever increasing success. No one can see Eurhythmy, and still
less learn it, without perceiving its wonderful possibilities for the
popularisation and purification of artistic life. Beautiful representations
of well-known musical works, and of pieces specially composed by the
musicians working at the Goetheanum, have been given.
Eurhythmy is of fundamental use in education. Children love it, almost
without exception. It forms an essential part of the Waldorf School
curriculum and of the children's classes at Dornach,* from the lowest
classes upwards. It enters fundamentally into the teaching of writing,
languages, music, geometry and kindred subjects.
Not only for children but for adults too, Eurhythmy is a physical exercise
which at the same time strengthens the will and purifies the feelings.
Unlike a purely mechanical exercise or one externally devised, it grasps
the soul of the human being, and harmonises body, soul and spirit.
Therapeutically it is being used at the clinics at Arlesheim and
Public demonstrations of Eurhythmy are given almost every
week-end at the Goetheanum, and are visited by hundreds and thousands
of people. Demonstrations have also been given in large theatres in many
European cities — e.g., in Berne, Zurich, The Hague, Amsterdam,
Stuttgart, Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Christiania.
In most of these cities and in many others — e.g., Paris, London,
and Vienna — classes are regularly being held. Eurhythmy is also
being introduced into schools in many different places; and even into
factories, for working girls. For classes in London and elsewhere in
Great Britain, apply to Miss F. Sonklar (of Dornach), c/o the Secretary
of the Anthroposophical Society in London.
** Dr. F. Thomastik, the Vienna musician and expert in
acoustics, working partly on his own ideas and partly under the advice
of Dr. Steiner, is evolving a new form of stringed instrument (violin,
viola, 'cello). Beautiful results have already been obtained, and the
instruments are being manufactured by a small cooperative factory under
the guidance of Dr. Thomastik in Vienna.
Miss Kathleen Schlesinger (of the Liverpool University Institute of
Archeology) has obtained interesting confirmation, from Dr. Steiner's
Spiritual Science, of her own independent researches on “Natural
Intonation,” in the history of ancient music and on its connection
with the spiritual evolution of man.