To many, the most influential and commonly available aspect of
Gurdjieffs legacy has been the Movements.
The music, written in collaboration with Russian Composer Thomas de Hartmann,
has also made its influential mark as well as it's availability.
The Gurdjieff Movements cannon consists of a number of movement exercises,
"folk" dances and a series of sacred dances.
From 1919 to 1924 there were 25 original "choreographed" movements -
complete with music - that served as a basis of study.
Additionally, there were also number of Dervish Dances,
several movements named The Crafts and 2 piano variations for 4 hands.
This collection of Movements comprised the entire canon up to the mid-1920's.
After 1924, and without the collaboration of de Hartmann,
Gurdjieff continued unveiling additional movements and
later began working on another series of movements
simply called The 39 Series.
He continued working on these up until the time of his death.
To discover how remarkable these movements are,
one need only experience them.
Similar to the Work ideas, the Movements affect different levels and
aspects of oneself.
One opportunity the Movements offer is to break up
ingrained physical patterns of the body with regard to movement.
One cannot physically participate in the Movements
mechanically or without absence of awareness.
They are a completely engaging phenomena which require full attention.
They are clearly designed for the body and
the aspect of sensation in the physical body.
To get a glimpse of the power and beauty of the Movements,
one need only see the ending sequences in the film
"Meetings With Remarkable Men" (directed by Peter Brook).
More information regarding the Movements can be found at the link below.
It is appropriate at this point to offer a cautionary note
regarding the proliferation of public Movement classes, workshops and seminars.
The Movements (as well as the music written with de Hartmann)
are probably the most exploited aspects of Gurdjieff's teaching.
Taken out of an appropriate context, the Movements lose something vital
- and not necessarily because of inept instruction.
The movements are designed to be done in conjunction with
an active on-going study with a group.
As mentioned on the previous page, the question then becomes which group?
Many opportunities for participating in the Movements can be seen advertised
in bookstores, newsletter, flyers, posters and so on.
But it is the internet which has become the most popular billboard for such sponsored "events."
However, let the "buyer beware".
These types of open announcements could be an indication of a
generic quality of instruction
(not to mention the instructors intention and motivating force)
and the degree of sincerity involved on the part of it's organizers.
Movements done outside an appropriate context and without proper intention
distorts, and perhaps negates the purpose from which
they were originally created.
This is a reasonable concern because a further dilution of
the essence of the Work for oneself and
the ideas as a whole, is a very real prospect.
A further "deviation" is thus created and very difficult to correct.
The music of Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann has also
been very popularized over recent years.
This is due in part because of the recent publishing of the sheet music
and public availability.
Specifically however the written music falls into 2 categories:
music for the Movements and music for "active listening".
The vast percentage of the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music falls into
the category of "active listening".
These compositions have been described numerous times
and seldom are the description adequate.
The effect this music has on oneself is undeniable and can only be experienced.
Over the past 10 years, this recorded music has been made publicly available
to the degree that it is relatively easy to find.
The quality of interpretation varies from pianist to pianist and
the listener will have to determine for oneself which
conveys an "authentic voice".
However, the ultimate interpretation of the available recorded music is titled
"The Music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann" and unequivocally recommended.
This 3 CD set is a recording of de Hartmann himself playing.
Other recordings for consideration would be:
The Music of Gurdjieff/De Hartmann (1985)
- Thomas de Hartmann, piano
Music for the Piano vol 1-3 (1990)
-Charles Ketcham/Lawrence Rosenthal, piano
Meetings with Remarkable Men
(Film Soundtrack) (1979)
Click here for more information on the Movements
Click here for more information on the Music
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