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A Lecture on Eurythmy

On-line since: 22nd July, 2002


INTRODUCTION

In 1923 Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures at a Summer School in Penmaenmawr, which have since been published under the title The Evolution of Consciousness. These lectures formed the main event of the School, but there were other activities as well. Steiner had brought with him a group of Eurythmists and a performance was arranged in spite of the inadequacy of the stage and its equipment. On the day before the performance he gave the introduction to this new art of movement, which appears in the following pages.

Eurythmy differs from other arts of movement in that it is an interpretation of speech as well as of music. Steiner here deals principally with the interpretation of speech, perhaps because he considered that his audience would be most interested in this aspect of Eurythmy. But he always regarded it as essential that in a performance there should be the interpretation of speech as well as of music.

The performance at Penmaenmawr was followed by others in London, and gradually sufficient interest was aroused to promote the building of a small theatre to be dedicated to the development of Eurythmy, the Rudolf Steiner Hall, in Park Road, Baker Street, now the location of the London School of Eurythmy.

Steiner would have been profoundly happy to see the development of this new art since his death. Performances at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, now include the interpretation of whole symphonies, in which different Eurythmists, or groups of Eurythmists, interpret the parts of the different instruments. On that great stage, with its superb lighting, Eurythmy can be seen in its highest development. But there are flourishing Schools of Eurythmy in other centres as well, and recently a Congress of Eurythmists held at the Goetheanum was attended by over six hundred Eurythmists from every part of the world. Eurythmy also plays a vital part in the Rudolf Steiner Schools and Curative Homes which have been established in nearly all European countries, as well as in the Americas and the Southern hemisphere. But Steiner always emphasised (as he does in the Introduction) that educational and curative Eurythmy cannot exist without the establishment of Eurythmy as an art in its own right, just as painting, sculpture and music exist as arts in their own right, although they may be used educationally in schools and institutions.

This Introduction anticipates some of the difficulties which the newcomer may experience with an art of movement based on new and profound considerations as to the nature of man. It gives a comprehensive picture of the whole field of Eurythmy and of the need for such an art in the modern world.

A. C. Harwood, 1967  



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