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Meet The Artists

Biography

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze

music training / rhythmic gymnastics / eurhythmics / improvisation

(1865-1950)

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was a Swiss-born composer and professor at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva. Although he was not a dancer, Ja ques-Dalcroze indirectly had an enormous impact on the development of modern dance in Europe during the early twentieth century.

Dalcroze devised a pedagogical system called “rhythmic gymnastics” or “eurhythmics”. The method was intended to improve his students'kinetic awareness of music. He used structured improvisations combined with movement to teach students about the fundamental principles of music.

In 1910, Jaques-Dalcroze established the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute (Bildungsanstalt). The school was originally based in Hellerau but was moved to Vienna during World War I and then closed in 1938 when the Nazis overtook Austria. Dalcroze also established another school in Geneva in 1915, where he remained until he died.

Some of Jaques-Dalcroze's students and assistants, including Marie Rambert, Suzanne Perrottet, Annie Beck and Mary Wigman, were interested in dance. When they left his school, they disseminated his ideas, which influenced many of the early proponents of modern dance.

Websites:

Institut Jaques-Dalcroze Genève

Learn more:

Jaques-Dalcroze, Émile. Le rythme, la musique et l’éducation. Paris: Fischbacher, 1920.

Jaques-Dalcroze, Émile. Méthod Jaques-Dalcroze. Lausanne: Jobin & Cie., 1916-1917.