The Movements are a body of more than 200 sacred dances and exercises developed by Mr. Gurdjieff between 1919 and 1949. They cover a broad spectrum of form and demand such as dervish exercises, dances, and prayers. The practice and study of Movements are intrinsically related with the ideas and methods of self-study that make up Mr. Gurdjieff’s teaching.
“(The work of Movements) allows us to experience through the body in movement all of our functional mechanisms. Above all it can awaken latent capacities belonging to an unknown side of our nature. Whether exercises or dances, these Movements have as their aim the rediscovery of a presence of being through the re-equilibrium of the body and a new ordering of its functions; this is the first step toward an awareness of oneself in the heart of daily life. It is precisely in terms of an opening to the sacred that one must understand the dances brought to us by G. I. Gurdjieff. This opening can free us from our mechanicalness, while revealing the “essential” aspects of our nature. The Movements call to “the whole of our being”, through many different means. This explains their amazing diversity. They exercise more specifically one function or another and often rely on tempos totally different from those experienced in daily life.”
- Marthe de Gaigneron
At the Rochester Gurdjieff Center, work with Movements is conducted through weekly classes of twelve to twenty people, studying in depth from the collection developed by Mr. Gurdjieff and his senior pupils. There are several classes, which are oriented to the students’ level of experience and taught by a team of instructors led by Annabeth McCorkle. Annabeth has studied with a number of senior Movements instructors including Pauline de Dampierre, Andre Enard, Lise Etievan, Gerard Harris, Marthe de Gaigneron, Jessmin Howarth, Paul Reynard, and James Wyckoff. The members of the Movements team gather periodically with instructors from other Gurdjieff centers to share their on-going exploration of the work of Movements and its transmission to subsequent generations of students.