THE MOVEMENTS

Gurdjieff introduced a fairly large number of sacred dances that are usually referred to as The Movements. Some were, he indicated, temple dances that he had encountered in his various travels and was able to recall. Others he invented himself.

The music played during the movements is piano music, jointly composed by Thomas De Hartmann and Gurdjieff. The movements could be thought of as “objective art” of a kind. To know whether that is true one has to participate rather than watch. Gurdjieff introduced hundreds of movements, so it is difficult to generalize about them. Some are strenuous, some are complex, some are fast, some are slow.

To perform them correctly requires the ability to harmonize the activity of the three centers; thinking, emotional and moving-instinctive. The physical postures that the dancers adopt in the movements are often entirely new, in the sense that one has never taken up that specific posture before. Also the movement of the body from one posture to another will also be a movement one has never executed before.

It may be the case that such movements, in combination with the music to which they are performed, provoke emotions and thoughts that are new, or if not new, then rare. Many Gurdjieff groups have associated movements teachers who keep the tradition of the movements alive.