Eurhythmics as Exercise

Dale Coye Dalecoye at AOL.COM
Tue Feb 24 23:42:30 UTC 2004

In a message dated 2/24/2004 6:01:54 PM Eastern Standard Time,
bjb5 at U.WASHINGTON.EDU writes:
The dictionary entry I'm working on suggests it as the translation from the
Japanese ritsudou taisou. A link at shows children doing exercise to
music, which just seems like a glorified form of what you see on children's
TV programs.
Eurythmy was created by Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian/German philosopher/man
of ideas --the founder of anthroposophy--and is still very much an active part
of all Steiner (Waldorf) Schools around the world--including here at Princeton
where my wife teaches.  There are two types--one is somewhat balletic, and
the other (tone-eurythmy) was conceived as a way to express speech through
movement.   Here is an excerpt from Stewart C. Easton "Man and World in the Light
of Anthroposophy"  Lory Smits was an 18 year old girl who had suddenly lost her
father.  Lory and her mother were very poor and the mother didn't want her to
become a professional dancer, so she asked Steiner for advice.  He gave Lory
a number of exercises to perform, "connected with the movement or arms and
feet in relation to spoken sounds.  These exercises were followed for many months
from the autumn of 1911 until Rudolf Steiner felt that she had progressed far
enough to be given some private lessons in what was to become eurythmy.  He
therefore asked Lory and her mother to come to Basel, where he was giving a
series of lectures on the Gospel of St. Mark (September 1912), and this first
eurythmist, who soon undertook to teach others what she had just learned, spent
the afternoons in a small room ..." it goes on to say the first performance in
this new art was presented in Munich in August, 1913.

Dale Coye
The College of NJ

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