Dalcroze by any other name: Eurhythmics in early modern theatre and dance

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Texas Tech University

It is the argument of this dissertation that, in the early years of the twentieth century, the Swiss music teacher Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) was the preeminent authority, advocate, and researcher into the following principle: human artistic expression is based on an intrinsic, physical, and visceral bond between performing artists and their work. Furthermore, Dalcroze's work was pivotal to all of the stage-centered arts at the inception of modernism.

Historical acclaim for the initiation and promotion of expression in theatre and dance is accorded to such commonly recognized figures as Konstantin Stanislavski and Rudolf von Laban. However, Russian, German, Swiss, and French sources from that era have revealed that Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and his associates had formulated, established, taught, and widely dispersed his foundational techniques of artistic expression well in advance of the recognized icons of modernism in the theatrical arts.

This work provides evidence that Jaques-Dalcroze was in direct contact with both Laban and Stanislavsky, and contributed materially to the work for which they later became world-renowned.

Unlike many others who shared his quest and passion for expressiveness in the performing arts, Dalcroze's work and insights have been inadequately considered in the chronicles of expressive performance. This dissertation demonstrates that Emile Jaques-Dalcroze should appropriately be seen as the principal source of the methods and theories of the now-celebrated founders of modern performance in the twentieth century: Konstantin Stanislavsky and Rudolf von Laban.

Modern dance -- Study and teaching, Exercise music, Theater -- Study and teaching, Eurythmics, Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile, 1865-1950