gurdjieff dance

 

in gurdjieff dance as vehicle
the dancer participates in creative work

dance triad

 

 

“In the movements … one has a taste of how life can be lived differently."
Jessmin Howarth, a student of Gurdjieff. cf., It's Up To Ourselves.


action of attention From simultaneous inner and outer actions of attention, energy is released, then collected, and then blended in accordance with laws of body-space-time existence. From simple yet profound actions of attention, body, and mind, a Gurdjieff dance is brought to life. Reciprocally, when the dance becomes actual in the doers, new energies are present in, among, and between the dancers -- energies then available to the doer for the work of her transformation and to the doers for the work of their dance. Each workshop researches consciousness as an agency of being, moving us deeper in our work with active attention and bare attention — building collective mindfulness and individual freedom.

our intention:To maintain a living transmission of Gurdjieff Dance and Inner Exercises; To further develop what has been received; To invite you to participate in this with us.

our understanding In Gurdjieff Dance …>

teaching methodology Described here is a model developed over a period of thirty years of research into dance and meditation pedagogy by James Tomarelli and friends.

The inner work and outer form of Gurdjieff Dance is taught in a circle accompanied by live acoustic music. (When teaching the Gurdjieff Inner Exercises, silence replaces music.) Circles allow for immediate non-verbal experiencing of the group as a threefold whole with 1) a sensing of self, 2) an awareness of others, and 3) an (outer) seeing / (inner) imaging of our common aim, dance, exercise, and so on, that is, of what we are doing together.

Live music allows for the temporary learning triad of teacher-dancers-dance to give way to the manifesting triad of music-dancers-dance. In the former, the teacher is a temporary active element; in the latter, the music is active, the dancers receptive, and the dance manifests through the dancers.

Within this model, participants, in maintaining the holistic attention appropriate to each dance or inner exercise, quickly experience reciprocal feeding. The implications -- for life, education, health, relationship, and community -- of this cooperative way of working become obvious in the experience of it.

When in public performance, the circle transforms into rows and files for stage or disassembles and reassembles into other tableaux appropriate to the space in which the performance is given.

results of sustained work There have been many reported and substantiated effects from this work:

-- In 2006 a phenomenological study on the effects of Gurdjieff Dance and movement meditation took place at one of our seminars in Italy. cf., Cohen, J.A., Laskowski, C., and Rambur, B. The experience of movement meditation: a dance of rhythmic paradox and time. "International Journal For Human Caring," 2008, Vol. 12, No. 3, p. 71.

Some comments from participants after long-term and short-term practice:

-- a new understanding of “effort.”
-- feelings of confidence; a clear mind; a relaxed body.
-- health and harmony of body systems.
-- a new relationship with our  interior world as we meet the demands of daily life.
-- an attention that is whole and impartial; a mind that lets go of judgments.
-- a group consciousness that values individual expression; an awareness of others; a respect for others.
-- a seeing and noticing of things as they are, which allows what we wish for to come into being.
-- a feeling of compassion for oneself and others.


workshops and laboratories offer:

  • -- introductory and advanced practice of Inner Exercises that release, transform and blend energies inside the body
  • -- daily intensive practice of Gurdjieff Dance
  • -- psychological interventions, practices, and themes
  • -- complementary practices for mind-body development introduced by guest teachers
  • -- group interactive discussion in an atmosphere of mindful awareness and active listening
  • -- all seminars are in English with Italian, German or Spanish translation when needed

  • residential workshops also offer:

    -- early morning introductory and advanced group sittings
    -- practical work and meal preparation — to complement the inner work and to meet the communal needs of the seminar
    -- silence in nature and in the society of others — to deepen and assimilate our practice
    -- evening practices — from Buddhist and Sufi traditions
    -- evening concerts of the Gurdjieff / de Hartmann music

  • form and perception laboratories offer:
    -- a laboratory within a workshop
    -- an Integration of the Work of Gurdjieff with the Work of Experimetal Theater
    -- read form & perception overview

required practical conditions for hosting an urban/non-residential workshop

  • -- DANCE FLOOR: hardwood, sprung, or performance surface professional dance floor or Marley floor that is a minimum of 10-by-10 square meter (100 m2) / 30-by-30 square feet (900 f2); with no pillars nor obstructions inside dance floor area
    -- SPACE: must be a 100% private and quiet space; with natural light, if possible
    -- PIANO: acoustic piano-- upright or baby grand, depending on size of room; absolutely no electric piano.
    -- NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 18 participants, minimum; 24, maximum for a 100m2 space; up to 36, maximum depending on size of dance floor.
    -- LUNCH / DINNER: private space for shared potluck meals and/or small kitchen for easy food preparation.
    -- TEACHER and PIANIST COSTS: a minimum of Euro 1,500 (for movements teacher) and Euro 650 (for movements pianist) for a (3-day) weekend workshop; up to Euro 2,500 (for movements teacher) and Euro 1,000 (for movements pianist) for 6 to 8 (full days) workshop; PLUS all travel expenses; plus private housing and meals, not included at workshop facility.

  • additional required conditions for hosting a rural/residential workshop [please email> us giving detailed information about a) who you are and b) why you wish to organize a workshop in your city. Thank you. If you are not known personally by one of our associates, emails without "detailed information about who … and why … " can not be responded to.]


historical background A "teacher of dance," G.I. Gurdjieff introduced a large body of dances to his students. Some are from the regions of North Africa through Central Asia (and possibly as far as Tibet); many are of his own creation. Gurdjieff died in 1949 having influenced the lives of many people. After his death, some went their own way while others organized themselves formally. All continued to work with what they received from him and to pass on their understanding. Today few of Gurdjieff's personal students are alive, while the numbers of their students and their students' students continue to increase. Among the "grandchildren" of Gurdjieff is a new generation born of his influence, grown, and taking responsibility for what they received. Our work is a meeting of this responsibility. Our work is ongoing. It is work-in-progress.

music for movements Working with Russian composer Thomas de Hartmann and inspired by ancient music he heard and learned during his travels, Gurdjieff created a body of musical work designed to harmonize the human psyche and make possible a higher emotional experience. Normally our thinking, feeling and moving "brains" are disharmonic — the Gurdjieff / De Hartmann Music assists in their re-harmonization. This work with music is an integral part of our work and is present in the seminars. Only live music and acoustic instruments are used in the work of Gurdjieff dance.

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