Archetypal Movement and Eurythmy

A few weeks ago, my local homeschool group held a day-long workshop with Eurythmy teacher Cynthia Hoven.  Cynthia teaches Eurythmy at the Rudolf Steiner College and has written a book about Eurythmy.  She explains eurythmy as “a modern movement art developed by Rudolph Steiner in which the sounds of language and music are expressed through gesture and dance.”

The workshop was fantastic!  The first half of the day we worked on archetypal movement including body carriage, something Cynthia called Three-fold stepping, and eventually walking through a type of choreography that had us partnered off and walking a pattern on the floor while simultaneously moving to different corners of the room to begin the pattern in a new direction!  As a dancer in years gone by, it really filled my soul.  How I love to move!  As a group we worked on being spatially and bodily aware of others while we passed little balls, walked triangles, figure eights and stars.  Cynthia recited little poems with appropriate meters to keep us all moving cohesively.

Later in the day we were divided into two groups and Cynthia had us glide through a pattern that first seemed like a big circle, then a peanut shape, then a flowing “X” as the two groups crossed, and finally ended in two separate circles.  She indicated that we had just danced something that is studied in the Waldorf seventh grade. Immediately, I could see that we had just “performed” cell mitosis!  (I have been looking ahead.  Seventh grade isn’t too far in our future!)  We then followed her in a fairy tale using eurythmy gestures.

I reflected for days on how enlivening movement is and how I can bring it to my children in our home.  Some things I can bring easily; like the purposeful stepping, the reaching exercises to open your back space, and the walking of shapes on the floor.  Some things will require more children, and for that I’m glad we have a homeschool group!  I ended up buying Movement for the Young Child and Cynthia’s book Eurythmy.  Movement for the Young Child looks very promising with many verses and stories and their accompanying gestures. Cynthia’s book contains the descriptions of the eurythmic gestures.  Using these two resources, I may be able to put some movement activities together (but authentic it will not be, as eurythmy is a four year course of study that I don’t envision learning!) That is fine by me, just adding some enjoyable movement activities will be enriching.

Do you incorporate archetypal movement or eurythmy into your homeschool?

7 thoughts on “Archetypal Movement and Eurythmy

  1. violicious

    I attempt, but regularly just opt for movement. What a gift for homeschooling parents to have a course geared toward them. I have a attended a lecture with movement at the end that was very inspiring. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  2. Sheila

    Swoon!!!

    I have done eurythmy 3 times and each time was just so, so incredible. It was like dance. It was like worship. It was like energy work.

    My boys have never done eurythmy or archetypal movement and I don’t think I would know where to start. Do you think either of those books would help someone who had not had as much exposure as you have?

    I would love you to keep us updated on how you incorporate movement into your lessons.
    Sheila

    Reply
    1. Mrs. Mallard Post author

      Hi Sheila! Yes, I definitely think these books will help those of us with very little movement or eurythmy experience. Movement for the Young Child contains many verses and stories and Cynthia does a fabulous job in Eurythmy of explaining the physical gestures. There are some caveats: First, I have not read the books thoroughly, just skimmed them, and second, I should say that Movement for the Young Child is geared toward Kindergarten aged children. So be aware that everything is nature based or fairy tales – perhaps our soon to be 6th graders won’t find it very interesting! I wish I had been able to attend the Peachcobblers event. From Carrie’s blog it sounds as if it were just the sort of affirmation I often need. Hugs, Mrs. Mallard

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    We do some archetypal movement on a daily basis. Mainly some E-A-O verses and things like that. I really love it, but have to admit I have been almost never able to recapture even a smigden of the beautiful mood that I envision accompanying this movement.

    Reply
  4. Carol

    I’d love to know more! Both about your movement study and your homeschool group. We live close to you (your sister in law gave me your blog address) and we are looking for more group activities. Could we meet up sometime?

    Reply

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