A new staging of the “Foundation Stone Meditation”

On Sunday 27th July 08, guests, friends and members of the Botton Village Camphill Community, were privileged to be witness to a “world premiere” of a new staging of the eurythmy choreography for the Foundation Stone Meditation by Rudolf Steiner. Foundation Stone Meditation by Rudolf Steiner.

The work was taken up following a conference on the Foundation Stone Meditation held at the Goetheanum in Easter 2007. Whilst attending the Conference, eurythmy and stage lighting designer John Watson was struck by the difficulty of the current staging where the eurythmists who enter from the centre back of the stage have to emerge sideways out of darkness. Having pondered over the dilemma, John created a model which would allow the eurythmists to appear out of light using silk curtains that could be back lit. John was able to share both his model and his thoughts with a number of Conference participants in informal discussions and met with considerable enthusiasm and support. On returning to Britain, John set about raising the funds to enable this vision to be realized. Thus it was that the new staging was presented, in conjunction with a group of 9 eurythmy colleagues from the Midlands and North of England and Ireland.

From the audience one sees a stage surrounded by fine white silk (in fact 2 layers at the side and 3 to the rear). The stage and the silks are bathed in a glow of colour. Experimentation led to the decision to adopt the use of LED (light emitting diode).

The light gains an amazing translucence and seems imbued with life. Indeed the light itself now enters into the process and enhances and modifies the existing choreography. This is especially so in the silent forms of the prelude and postlude to the first three stanzas and the transition to the fourth stanza of the Meditation. The light veritably “eurythmises” in a manner not previously experienced by the author.

During the silent eurythmy prelude following the entry of the four side figures, the light at the back of the stage intensifies and the front figure (followed later by the central figure) emerges in light as the silk screens subtly part. Similarly at the end of the silent eurythmy postlude the central and front figure once again “vanish into light”. We know that the rear half of the stage (as viewed from the audience) represents the spiritual realm and it was heart warming to see how this world of light could be represented so beautifully on stage. With the transition to the final verse, once again the light came into its own as it slowly metamorphosed from a delicate rose through blue into yellow before the entry of the eurythmists from either side.fsm1

Another first was the eurythmy itself; here performed by a new group of eurythmists, mostly from central and northern England. Also inspired by the Easter Conference, this new group has been studying the Foundation Stone and working on the choreography together. Mentoring and support was given by Melissa Harwood who was a participant in the original staging in English under the guidance of Barbara Beedham. The background study clearly showed itself in the degree of penetration of the choreography which came to life with humble reverence. The group will continue further and I am sure that the fruits of their eurythmical work together will continue to ripen and bear fruit.

The staging itself has been created so as to be flexible and can accommodate most small to medium large stages in Britain and Europe. It is fully intended for use by any eurythmists who wish to share the Foundation Stone with an audience. It will be made available to other groups in Britain and elsewhere and will maybe inspire others to create their own similar staging.

Michael Mehta

There is a Foundation Stone Research Fund. Contacts via the above or via Hermes Trust Gift Arena (http://www.hermes-trust.org.uk/pages/gift.html).

Sponsor required

Any help with this project will be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted at the address below. Donation how every small will be gratefully received. Please make cheques payable to “Foundation Stone Research fund” and send to John at the address below:

John Watson,
Highfield House,
9 Market Place,
DE75 7AA

For any enquiries, please contact John Watson. Details can be found on the Contact Us page.