by Rudolf Steiner
Lecture of 26th August, 1923
"Anyone who understands the hand, for example, must be aware that it was not formed merely to lie still and be looked upon. The fingers are quite meaningless when they are inactive. They only acquire significance when they seize at things, grasp them, when their passivity is transformed into movement. Their very form reveals the movement inherent within them. The same may be said of the human being as a whole. What we know under the name of Eurythmy is nothing else than the means whereby the human organism can find healthy outlet through movement."
Eurythmy is a movement art originally introduced and developed by Rudolf Steiner with Lori Mayer Smith in the early 20th century. It is an art that combines mindfullness and movement art in a contemporary way. In eurythmy every movement engages body, soul and spirit.
Eurythmy is visioned to be visible singing or speaking. Every tone in music is made visible through movement just as every sound is made visible in speech. Eurythmy is performed either in silence or with live speech or live music.
When talking about eurythmy as a visible singing it can be called an art of movement in the same way that we can call music an art of tones. What is Music? Tones turns to music when one tone inherently leads to another. So in a way music could be described as an art of intervals. The space between two tones is full of life and is felt through in eurythmy. In eurythmy we make the tones visible so that we may go from one tone to the next and feel the space between them.
In speech eurythmy we will move as the human larynx and its neighboring organs move as we speak. All sounds have their own unique shape, movement and dynamic. Before you pronounce "A" you can feel certain movements preceding the sound. This is the phenomena that we do as a movement in speech eurythmy. The body is a medium for the movement and in order to make different sounds visibly different we have to work with our qualitative consciousness and feel through each sounds as we move with it.
Eurythmy is also done for therapeutic purposes and is one of the art therapies prescribed by an antroposofical doctor if needed. There's also therapeutic form of eurythmy to all that wish to heal and rejuvenate themselves called Vitaleurythmy. Vitaleurythmie is a movement for self-guidance, self-competency and development of one’s own resources. It allows person to transform chronic stress, muscle tension, stiffness, and irritability into energy, serenity, spiritual openness, flexibility, and dynamism.
Pedagogical eurythmy is done in Waldorf education. Children are taught eurythmy in order to give them movement exercises that supports their personal growth and learning of other subjects in school. For small children eurythmy is more about story and play whereas for older children it is challenging their coordination, vigor, presence of mind and social cooperation.