Journeys to Oslo

Upgrade your Eurythmy Diploma to a Bacholar of Arts Degree at the University College of Eurythmy, Oslo, Norway

By Ute Heuser

Last October I traveled to Norway in order to join ten other eurythmists at the University College of Eurythmy in Oslo. We all embarked on the part-time course to up-grade our Eurythmy Diplomas to a Bachelor Degree. After an introduction, Michael Leber took us through our first lesson. It was the best way to get to know each other and to “find our feet” – especially for the three of us who had travelled from the US. The time change was hard at first.
Soon we began work on two group-pieces: “The Cloud” by Shelley and an Allegro by Schubert (Op.164). Coralee Schmandt guided us in speech eurythmy and Michael Leber in tone eurythmy. Lessons in speech formation were held in two groups, one in English and one in Norwegian. Although I joined the English group, I was fascinated by the sound of the Norwegian language and we all got a little taste of it in our first session. Each of us began to work on an epic, lyric, and dramatic piece. We also had an introduction to a music exam we were due to take. Some frustration and confusion came about as the test needed to be translated for some of us, but in the end we all passed. I guess the language of music is universal.
After ten full and rich days it was time for us to leave. We had become a group, had formed many new connections and lots of hugs were freely shared before we all departed for our many different destinations. We took a lot of home-work with us: A solo form by Rudolf Steiner in both speech and tone eurythmy; the group pieces needed to be “kept warm”; the pieces for our speech formation presentation, and a written paper about an aspect of our teaching experience. Off I went back to Pennsylvania with a Shakespeare Sonnet (“Let me not to the marriage of true minds”) and the Rondo from the Pathetique Sonata by Beethoven in my luggage. It was hard to fit in practice times in an already busy schedule, but I was glad to have this extra challenge as part of my artistic work.
Last February I was off to Oslo again, this time we only met for six days and a lot had to be done in this short time. We continued our work on the group pieces, and had some quick practices for our solos with a speaker and pianist we were not used to. A good part of an afternoon was needed for each of us to present our epic, lyric, and dramatic texts we had worked on as part of our speech formation assignment. It was a festive moment and a great variety of pieces were shared in different languages. Each of us had to present our eurythmy solos, and again I was amazed at the richness of what was brought and shared. It was hard for me to perform just one piece as part of this presentation. By the time I felt in the flow of eurythmy my solo was already over.
Now I am looking forward to our last session in July. I am busy working on an Adagio by Mozart and a poem by Denise Levertov, both solo forms I need to present in July.  I am glad for this rich experience, for getting to know eurythmists further afield and making new contacts. Coralee and Michael are great guides in this process and I appreciate their ongoing support. If any of you are interested, they are hoping to start another course this fall. I know it is a long way away, but Oslo is well worth a visit and if you are looking for an artistic “boost” as well as a BA, this is a great way to get it both!!