“Eurythmy belongs first of all to life as an art among the other arts.” -- Rudolf Steiner
How is eurythmy used and applied offstage?
There are three main areas of eurythmy activity that are not purely artistic – therapy, education and social eurythmy. Eurythmy therapy and educational eurythmy lessons in Waldorf Schools began with the active support of Rudolf Steiner.
In Waldorf Schools or Steiner Schools, eurythmy is a part of the curriculum for all ages. The eurythmy lessons aim to foster healthy development of the pupils and to support the other subjects in an artistic manner. Some schools do not continue eurythmy in the upper school when pupils are not finding easy access to this art.
''The will initiative that is needed in present times - this is cultivated especially by means of eurythmy as an educational tool in schools.” -- Rudolf Steiner
Communities active in curative education, such as Camphill, have adapted the Waldorf Curriculum to the additional needs of children in their care. This is a specialised branch of work which is productive for all children, no matter what their ability. It is also used therapeutically for specific conditions and illnesses. Within many curative education communities eurythmy is also used
- as a medium to convey stories, myths and inspirational themes in a Religion Lesson for pupils who have limited access to the spoken word
- as a passive or active therapeutic medium for small groups, as an integral element of Listening Space Therapy, and Colour Light Therapy.
Adult communities working in anthroposophical social therapy often include eurythmy activity on a weekly basis, which may include elements of Eurythmy in the Workplace.
Eurythmy in the Workplace began much later with the work of Annemarie Ehrlich in the Netherlands. This is often referred to as social eurythmy as it not oriented to artistic performance. Eurythmists work in factories, communities and business organisations across all levels. The work brings people together in new ways, promoting initiative and creative adaptation to problems at work.
To summarise briefly, eurythmy is practised in the following areas:
- on stage as a performing art
- as a therapeutic medium
- in Waldorf Schools, curative education schools and social therapy communities
- in organisations at all levels, from workers to higher management, to enhance team-work, self-management and decision making
- in well-being and recreational classes 'just for fun'
- as an enhancement to studies and an aid to self-development in Higher Education and further training as part of the trinal method
What can eurythmy offer to children?
Everyone can benefit from doing eurythmy, no matter what age! Eurythmy was introduced into the curriculum at the founding of the first Waldorf School in 1919.
The lessons begin in kindergarten and develop right up to the twelfth class in tune with the maturing growth of the pupils. Elements of visible speech and visible song are progressively introduced at the ages when the children need them to support their physical, intellectual and emotional development. A balance is created with gym, spacial dynamics and sports activities where the attention is turned more towards other fields of movement. In the upper classes, more awareness is added to the work of the early years and individual creativity is encouraged.
Eurythmy in Waldorf Education: high quality DVD excerpt at YouTube »
“In education we would need to explain how eurythmy brings the human being into a state of fluidity, so that certain things become manifest, so that the human being feels himself to be like a general expression of his inner life, for example an exact expression of his soul ... We would need to explain how eurythmy can influence every stage of education.” -- Rudolf Steiner
More on Waldorf Education »
Find Waldorf links in DISCOVER EURYTHMY Resources »
What is Eurythmy in the Workplace?
Annemarie Ehrlich's motto is: 'art is what brings joy'. This is clearly reflected by the success that she and others have had in all kinds of working environments. The Institute for Eurythmy in Industry, Business and Professional Life was founded in 1986 in Holland. Many companies have benefited from an experience of eurythmy. Problems have been given new perspectives and new insights in working together have emerged.
"eurythmy can become an important discipline in creating work environments
of meaning and effectiveness." -- Christopher Schafer
Groups have done daily eurythmy practise on the factory floor. Managerial staff have taken part in eurythmy as a part of their training and development. Interpersonal awareness is sharpened, and creative initiative is encouraged in such sessions. In Britain this work is often referred to as Social Eurythmy.
Find eurythmy activity near you »
“ [Eurythmy] is for everyone. And we would wish that humanity will be able to gain an understanding for this art, so that it will be carried out with children when they are still small, up to the biggest children up to 70, 75, as far as 90-year-old 'children'.”
-- Rudolf Steiner