Acacia Waldorf School held LOVE FOR REAL a musical presentation February 25, 2017 at the Insular Life Corporate Center Auditorium in Filinvest City, Alabang. A celebration of Love and music, Love For Real featured the Acacia Waldorf School Orchestra and Choir, and some musical superstars, namely Sharon Cuneta, Lea Salonga and Bamboo.
Love For Real, at first glance, may seem like a star-studded musical production by a school. It, however, was a lot more than that.
It was primarily a demonstration of Acacia Waldorf School students’ musical skills, near the culmination of the school year, to celebrate what they have assimilated. At the same time, it was a fund-raising event meant to augment the school’s community development efforts. But more importantly, Love For Real was the actualization of the students’ expression, in line with a particular course taken up by the school called Eurythmy.
The word eurythmy has Greek roots, and means beautiful or harmonious rhythm. The eurythmist’s movement repertoire relate to the sounds and rhythms of speech, to the tones and beat of the soul, and the harmony of experiences, as joy and sorrow. Once these fundamental repertoire of elements are understood, they can be made into free artistic expressions.
The eurythmist also nurtures a feeling for the qualities of straight lines and curves, the directions of movement in space (forward, backward, up, down, left, right), contraction and expansion, and color. The element of color is also emphasized in the art, through the costumes and the wearing of archetypal colors on fabrics that accentuate movements and bodily form.Sometimes called “visible music” or “visible speech”, eurythmy’s purpose is to bring, with a musical piece, the artists' expressive movement and both the performers' and audience's feeling experience into harmony. Steiner actually described it as an "art of the soul”.
Most eurythmy today is performed to classical music pieces or poetry or narratives. Sometimes silent pieces are also performed.
Eurythmy with Music
Eurythmy with music is called tone eurythmy. The three main elements of music (melody, harmony and rhythm) are all expressed whenever this is performed. The melody is chiefly conveyed through the expression of its rise and fall, with specific pitches and intervallic qualities accompanying. Harmony is expressed through movement between tension and relaxation, as expressions of dissonance and consonance, and between the more inwardly directed minor mood and the outwardly directed major mood. Rhythm is chiefly conveyed through more energetic and more contoured movements for quick notes, slower, dreamier movements for longer notes; in addition, longer tones move into the more passive (listening) back space, quicker tones into the more active front space. Breaths or pauses are expressed through a larger or smaller movement in space, providing new impulse to what comes after. Beat is conveyed by accentuating downbeats, or beats upon which stress is normally placed. Beat is mostly regarded as a subsidiary factor.
Love For Real featured artists who understand the balance of the elements of choreography, voice and song. Through their interplay with the students, Lea, Bamboo and Sharon became one with the eurythmists students on stage, allowing a more profound and genuine expression, which at that time was centered on love.
In fact, the musical superstars who highlighted the event even professed how eurythmy and Waldorf Education in general, aren’t just unique methods of training, but are actually very effective pedagogically. Sharon described how Waldorf Education is truly child-friendly, as it nurtures the mind, body and soul of students, preparing them for whatever challenges the future may bring.
Formed from the ideas of Steiner, a philosopher and a social thinker, Waldorf Education manifests as a social impulse to renew education and to improve society through a more personal, more balanced, and appropriate development of the human being.Waldorf education might just turn out to be the strongest answer to the gaping imbalance that humanity currently stares at dumbfounded, for it starts with a genuine love of life, self, and creation. It is in all sense, love for real.
*Published in print version (Voice of the South, Volume 13, No. 5)