Like the dance in its early religious form, Eurythmy gives a spiritual understanding and experience of the world of music, enlivening the health-giving powers and energies of the body. It is the notes, the intervals, the rhythm, beat and melody which is expressed in bodily movement by the one moving with the living tone and sound.
The experience given through one musical interval is entirely different from another. Eurythmy marks these differences by the variety of gesture and movement, which follow the actual line and cadence of a melody expressing the inner nature of music. Through a response aligned to and in harmony with the archetypal nature of the human being, music eurythmy steps away from dance and becomes a movement form in its own right.
Expressing music through eurythmy requires considerable skill and training. A deep and intimate knowledge, experience and musicality affords the professional eurythmist the possibility of bringing the great works of our polyphonic music tradition into a visible singing and sounding panorama.
How does this work in practice? Let us take Schubert’s Trout Quintet, performed in Eurythmy on many occasions in countries all over the world. One eurythmist expresses the part of the piano, one the violin, and so on. The more percussive nature of the piano is expressed very differently to the warm, deep quality of bowed string of the cello. Each instrument has characteristic movements in space, reflected in dress and colour.
For the purposes of understanding the qualities that eurythmy can offer, the nature of the human being is perceived and experienced as having three archetypal aspects: The capacity to think, expressed in the rounded still head, the capacity to feel, expressed in the breathing lung and the beating heart protected within the ribcage and the capacity to do things and to transform, expressed in the digestion and the limbs.
Thus eurythmy has the potential to express music where the full human being becomes the instrument, tuned to grace, beauty and flow.