Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Transforming the Soul of Music into Bodily Practice: Tone Eurythmy's artistic principles and their relation to underlying structure  


Andrew 'Mugsy' Spiegel (University of Cape Town)
Silke Sponheuer (Centre for Creative Education)

Paper short abstract:

Tone Eurythmy choreography & performance is typified by formally constituted transformations of music elements & structure to movement form and structure. We describe the process, relating it to anthroposophical notions of structural transformation & human agency - overlooked by earlier anthropology

Paper long abstract:

As practised in Waldorf (Steiner) schools and the related anthroposophical movement, the art of Eurythmy includes, as core to Tone Eurythmy, a process of choreographing and then performing what is represented in musical scores through bodily movement. Those movement forms are not, however, random; nor are they reflective of idiosyncratic emotional responses to music. Rather, they are explicitly choreographed on the basis of an understanding that particular musical elements and structures are readily transformable into specific movement forms - in other words, that musical structure is transformable into structures of movement. That understanding reflects, in turn, an understanding, fundamental to anthroposophy, that the whole universe, including the universe of time, is structured in ways that can be seen as transformations from one level and context to another. The paper describes the kinds of music-to-movement transformations that are produced in the processes of eurythmic choreography and performance of a selection of musical scores. It uses those to illustrate how the transformative principle is applied in Tone Eurythmy. And it reflects on the extent to which human agency is understood, from an anthroposophical perspective, to be able to effect such structural transformations, something that was absent in earlier anthropological work on structural transformations in and of symbolic systems.

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Body and soul: on corporeality in contemporary religiosity