Gurdjieff wrote sparingly about movements. The following excerpts taken from Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, Meetings with Remarkable Men and Views from the Real World are reprinted by the kind permission of Triangle Editions, Inc.
Descriptions of the practice and performance of Gurdjieff’s Movements during his lifetime, between 1920 and 1949.
John G. Bennett describes the “Temple Dances” Gurdjieff was teaching his pupils in Constantinople in 1920 and at the Prieuré in 1923.
A skilled pianist and dancer, the author describes practicing movements in 1922–1923 as Gurdjieff prepared for public demonstrations in Paris and New York.
Gurdjieff arrives in New York City in February 1924 and presents a movements demonstration at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
Daumal invites the reader to participate in a movements class lead by Jeanne de Salzmann in the 1930s.
This excerpt provides C. S. Nott’s vivid account of a 1947 talk in Paris on movements given “by an older pupil who was Gurdjieff’s ‘right hand.’”
Pierre Schaeffer provides an exceptionally intelligent and heartfelt glimpse of his experience in Gurdjieff’s movements class.
Interviews and articles written since Gurdjieff’s death in 1949. The photographs within this section are stills from documentary films of the Movements made from the period 1960–1974 under the direction of Jeanne de Salzmann. They are reproduced by the kind permission of the Institut Gurdjieff, Paris, and the heirs of Jeanne de Salzmann.
Jessmin Howarth reviews the history of movements in Gurdjieff’s groups and hints at some discoveries that the practice of the movements can provide.
Pauline de Dampierre examines “the ‘science of movement’ which Gurdjieff rediscovered.”
Thomasson shares his struggle after he “experienced a strong rejection of ‘the Movements’, which Gurdjieff insisted on as an essential part of his teaching.”
Reynard reminds us that the movements invite us to discover a new attentiveness and the opportunity to be both present and open to a new level of consciousness.
An informed examination of movements is provided and their role as “a language that our intellect cannot understand well but to which the body is sensitive.”
The relationship between attention, the body, mind, awareness and movements as a foundation for the real work of self study and self awaking is examined.
Mitchell Rudzinski’s advice and comments to his students regarding playing music for the movements is provided from their journals and notebooks.
Ordahl considers the courage to abandon what is known mechanically in favor of trusting an unknown “something else” to be able to play movements music.
The inner movement of attention upon which the outer movement depends.
This text on some of the aspects of being in and leading a Movements class was among the papers left by the late Joanna Haggerty.
“It is only in an actual class of living people, with one in front who serves as guide—the ‘assistant’—and a musician at the piano, that a Movement comes to life.”
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Revision: June 4, 2019