Gurdjieff International Review

Gurdjieff’s Movements

Part I: Gurdjieff on Movements

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.

Part II: Historical Perspective

Descriptions of the practice and performance of Gurdjieff’s Movements during his lifetime, between 1920 and 1949.

Gurdjieff’s Temple Dances
John G. Bennett

John G. Bennett describes the “Temple Dances” Gurdjieff was teaching his pupils in Constantinople in 1920 and at the Prieuré in 1923.

Anna Butkovsky-Hewitt

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 Movements Demonstration
Louise Welch

Gurdjieff arrives in New York City in February 1924 and presents a movements demonstration at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

The Role of Movement in the Complete Education of Man
René Daumal

Daumal invites the reader to participate in a movements class lead by Jeanne de Salzmann in the 1930s.

A Talk on the Dances
C. S. Nott

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.’”

A Session of “Movements”
Pierre Schaeffer

Pierre Schaeffer provides an exceptionally intelligent and heartfelt glimpse of his experience in Gurdjieff’s movements class.

Part III: Contemporary Perspectives

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.

Remember Inner Work
Jessmin Howarth

Jessmin Howarth reviews the history of movements in Gurdjieff’s groups and hints at some discoveries that the practice of the movements can provide.

Sacred Dance
Pauline de Dampierre

Pauline de Dampierre examines “the ‘science of movement’ which Gurdjieff rediscovered.”

Working with the Movements
Henri Thomasson

Thomasson shares his struggle after he “experienced a strong rejection of ‘the Movements’, which Gurdjieff insisted on as an essential part of his teaching.”

Dances are for the Mind
Paul Reynard

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.

The Teacher of Dancing
Josée de Salzmann

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.”

This Entity We Call the Body
Don Hoyt

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.

The Music Has To Like You…
Mitchell Rudzinski

Mitchell Rudzinski’s advice and comments to his students regarding playing music for the movements is provided from their journals and notebooks.

On Giving up the Luxury of Knowing
Stafford Ordahl

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.

Behind the Visible Movement
Jeanne de Salzmann

The inner movement of attention upon which the outer movement depends.

Some Aspects of the Movements
Joanna Haggarty

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.

Living the Oral Tradition in Movements
Diana Rosenthal

“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.”

This webpage © 2019 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Revision: June 4, 2019