Eurythmy is an expressive movement (and dance) as a way to 'link the human being directly with the supersensible world', with gestures that relate to sounds, tones and rhythms of speechs and music and express soul experiences such as joy and sorrow. As an artform it is therefore called 'visible music' or 'visible speech', as it can be performed with spoken text or with music.
Besides an art form it was and is also used in education (developing the child complementary to eg gymnastics), in therapy and even in agriculture.
Rudolf Steiner introduced eurythmy in 1911 as an artistic and educational discipline, and besides coverage in lectures gave three lecture cycles about it in the period 1921-24:
- 1921-GA315 - Curative Eurythmy
- Eurythmy as visible singing (GA278)
- Eurythmy as visible speech (GA279)
An integral therapeutic process concerned with psychological and physiological well-being of mind, soul and body, complementing conventional medicine. The exercises are like 'inner gymnastics'
..a complete and detailed method of eurythmy therapy, in which we could directly experience that even today the creative and therapeutic power of the word ...is still at work
- rhythmic interplay between human physiology and formative forces in the world around us
- qualities of language and the dynamic contained in individual vowels and consonants,
- relationship between vowels and consonants and eurythmical movements and human experience
Although one can say it has nothing to do with Steiner's eurythmy, paneurythmy has certain overlapping characteristics and belongs to the same kind of expressive soul movements. A comparative paper (Peneva 2008) is listed in the references.
Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) introduced paneurythmy as physical musical exercises in 1922 with an emphasis on giving and receiving and conscious exchange with the forces of nature. They have been done in large groups in early morning sessions, eg the sessions attended each year in August by some 2000 participants in the Rila mountains.
A comparison is in the paper by Penev below.
References and further reading
- Margarete Kirchner-Bockholt: Fundamental Principles of Curative Eurythmy (1978, original in DE in 1962)
- Marjorie Spock: 'Eurythmy' (1980)
- Wilhelm Uhlenhoff: The Children of the Curative Education Course (2008)
- Hans-Broder and Elke von Laue: 'The Physiology of Eurythmy Therapy' (2010, also in DE)
- Beinsa Douno: 'Paneurhythmy' (1938) - freely downloadable in PDF
- Boyanka I. Penev: Paneurhythmy and eurhythmy - philosophy and practice (2008)
- Ludmila Chervencova: various research papers on paneurythmy