Jeanne de Salzmann

Gurdjieff International Review

Jeanne de Salzmann


Jeanne de Salzmann studied piano, composition, and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Geneva. Dancer and teacher of rhythmic movements, she was a pupil of Emile-Jaques Dalcroze who opened an avant-garde institute of the arts devoted to music, dance, and theater in Germany in 1912. During the Russian revolution, she and her husband Alexandre were living in Tiflis, Georgia, where she opened a school of dance and music. In 1919 the composer Thomas de Hartmann introduced the young couple to Gurdjieff. In the years that followed, Jeanne de Salzmann became Gurdjieff’s devoted pupil, and remained with him until his death in 1949. For more than forty years thereafter, she worked tirelessly to transmit his teaching and to preserve the inner content and meaning of the Movements.

Jeanne de Salzmann - by Pamela Travers

A conservatory trained pianist and student of Dalcroze, Jeanne de Salzmann (18891990) met Gurdjieff in 1919 and was his closest pupil until his death. She went on to lead and support the Gurdjieff Work in Paris, London, New York, and Caracas, with emphasis on the Movements.

The Gurdjieff Foundation

The Gurdjieff Foundation is the largest organization that has direct lineage back to Mr. Gurdjieff. The Foundation was organized by Jeanne de Salzmann during the early 1950s and led by her, in cooperation with other direct pupils, until her death in 1990.

The Look From Above

With every sentence of this remarkable communication, we are brought directly in front of ourselves in a way that calls us to another level—wherein “it is in my essence that I reunite with that which sees.”

First Initiation

In this powerful communication, Jeanne de Salzmann states uncompromisingly that we have no measure with which to measure ourselves. “You must understand that all the other measures—talent, education, culture, genius—are changing measures, measures of detail. The only exact measure, the only unchanging, objective real measure is the measure of inner vision. I see—I see myself—by this, you have measured.”

Threads of Time: Recollections of Jeanne de Salzmann

In this excerpt from his autobiography, Threads of Time, Peter Brook—who had attended Jane Heap’s group for more than a decade—offers a succinct and vivid cameo of Jeanne de Salzmann who was close to Gurdjieff for thirty years.

Behind the Visible Movement

Quotations of Jeanne de Salzmann on the subject of Gurdjieff’s Movements as recollected by her pupils.

Real Exchange in a Group

Madame de Salzmann speaks of the group as “a special condition for exchange and a kind of conduit for higher influences... Real change of understanding would mean that, with the listener also questioning and the questioner really listening, the level of both participants would change.”

Going Toward Consciousness

“I believe I need to pay attention when, in fact, I need to see and know my inattention.”

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Photo by permission Gurdjieff Institute (Paris)
Revision: March 1, 2020