What Does Dalcroze™ Eurhythmics™ Provide to Dancers?


Emile Jacques-Dalcroze™ created and implemented his ideas, the first modern method of music education, for pre-professional conservatory students around 1900.  His work was modified later for children.  It remains an essential part of the curriculum at leading institutions, elementary to collegiate, around the world.  Stravinsky, Bloch, Diaghilev, Nijinski, Honegger, Du Pré, and William Westney are among the artists who worked with Dalcroze™ or were directly affected by his philosophy.

  • Dalcroze™ provides a platform for understanding the essential musical concepts necessary for dancers to succeed at their craft. These concepts include:
    • Internalized rhythm through the body
    • Understanding of phrase and form
    • Understanding of different beat types and their corresponding meters
    • Development of the inner ear
  • Dalcroze™ encourages aesthetic development.
    • Feeling and sensing become primary vehicles for understanding aesthetic concepts.
    • Affect and meaning are often points of departure for the learning experience thereby impacting performance practice. This actualizes their importance in vivid and authentic ways.
    • Improvisation in all forms (rhythmic, melodic, corporal) promotes ownership of one's aesthetic self.
    • For the choreographer, aesthetics is of prime importance, both in the study of minute gesture and large forms and spatial awareness. The Dalcrozian celebrates the study of gesture and visual forms along with their relative impact on the aesthetic experience.
  • Dalcroze™ improves non-verbal expression
    • As non-verbal communication often permeates any dance performance, these elements are often championed in the Dalcroze™ classroom. Discovering innovative ways to articulate one's self, especially those expressions that are not part of one's everyday emotive vocabulary. These expressions might be through the limbs, the face, the body.
  • Dalcroze™ teaches breath and uses it to govern how the body might understand concepts such as:
    • Musical ideas: beat, meter, rhythm, phrase, form
    • Corporal control and flow
    • Expression of energy through time and space
  • Dalcroze™ aims to facilitate an improved sense of coordination and balance
    • Through diverse exercises which engage a multi-leveled approach to the body, the legs, trunk, arms, voice, and head achieve greater independence and increased control of energy, nuance, and expression.
    • As weight and the study of its impact also predominates a Dalcroze™ curriculum, dancers can expect to learn new and varied approaches to improve their sense of balance.

Dalcroze™ study is comprehensive divided into three main categories:

  • Eurhythmics™ provides training for structural elements (beat, duration, rhythm, meter, texture, phrase, and form) and aesthetic elements (nuance, dynamics, articulation, tempo, and affect). Students gain control of their bodies, becoming freer to express creatively-both physically and musically.
  • Solfège trains the eyes, ears, and voice. It enables a student to listen to music and transcribe it onto paper, and to look at sheet music and hear it internally without the use of an instrument.
  • Improvisation enables students to create music instrumentally or vocally. It usually begins with movement or the voice to facilitate the creative process. Bodily gestures relate to gestures used on the instrument; the connections between movement and music are clarified.