Who is it for?
Performers & Creators
In order to become musical and behave musically we need to develop an Inner Musical Sense. This consists of aural and movement-related sensations as well as intellectual thoughts and emotional feelings. When we perform we try to communicate our own understanding of the inner sense of the music. While we may be very competent technically this is not sufficient to communicate. We must consider the meaning of the piece and the intention of the composer.
We often find our own performance unsatisfactory because:
- We know what we want but our hands, etc, won’t obey - we can’t do it.
- We don’t know what we want. We are not clear in our mind with respect to our musical intention regarding the piece/phrase etc. We need to be able to pre-hear and pre-feel what we want things to sound like, the impression we wish to create. We must develop a musical imagination.
Dalcroze is unique in that it challenges, and trains together, the senses, the body and the mind in one well-integrated mechanism, allowing performance to be wholly individual and authentic.
An exploration of music through movement enables a player to give a richer and more profound performance. By understanding, through the body, the shape of the music - its moments of climax and repose, its energy, the way the music travels or remains in place - a performer can find a deeper interpretation of the music and project these musical gestures clearly in his or her playing. This way of working can be achieved by a soloist as well as an ensemble.
The breadth of the Dalcroze work lends itself to many original applications including “Dynamic Rehearsal for Performers”, a method of studying repertoire developed by Karin Greenhead (www.themovementofmusic.com). This unique application provides a direct link to the rehearsal and performance of the concert repertoire.
Every really musical spectator should be able to judge whether a virtuoso has adequately analysed the work he is professing to interpret to convey its message and general emotion – or whether he has merely studied the different passages, one after the other, without attempting to animate the whole with a consistent impulse or organic life. (EJD: RM & E pg 171)
Through Dalcroze a conductor learns to communicate by means of gesture, to be expressive, accurate and precise. It is an aural training in movement that helps one to hear into the texture of the music and know what to bring out. It is training in movement, which enables one to be more aware of the movement in music and how this can teach us to interpret and analyse in a profound way.
Dalcroze helps the dancer both to listen and dance at the same time and to be constantly “in the music” rather than moving alongside the music. It gives the dancer a clearer understanding of music and its intrinsic relationship with movement. Through Dalcroze dancers can expand their movement expression beyond the style in which they have trained or are currently working in. A wide variety of musical styles is often used within one class and drawn from a variety of cultures. This may include improvised or recorded music, depending on the goals of the session.
In the words of Jaques Dalcroze:
In order to transpose works of absolute music into corporal movement a choreographer needs to understand the intimate connection:
- between musical and bodily movement
- between the developments of a theme and the successive sequences and transformations of attitudes
- between sound intensity and muscular dynamics
- between rest and pauses, counterpoint and counter-gesture, melodic phrasing and breathing
- between space and time.
A comparison between the elements that are common to both arts and an understanding of these elements in movement, through music, can lead to the discovery of ones own unique style.
Like musicians, actors express themselves and their art through the body. They also require, like the musician, a sense of timing, good coordination and range of body movements, an ability to work in an ensemble, an ability to project, an understanding of pace and ability to be flexible and adaptable to cues from others.
Through different styles of music the actor learns to develop and express a range of body movement, develop their non-verbal communication and great subtlety of expression that goes beyond words. Dalcroze helps the actor to become an infinitely variable and flexible performer, sensitive to the space in which he or she works and able to respond rapidly to fellow actors.
Because of the rich cross-over of elements between music and other art forms Dalcroze has much to offer and there is plenty to be gained from an understanding of the principles that surround it. Orchestral out-reach projects, cross-arts projects and mixed-media projects, for children as well as adults, can all benefit from Dalcroze’s unique ability to shine a new light on the world of the arts.