* I am deeply grateful to the fellows and staff at the Stanford Humanities Center, where I completed part of this projects work in Spring 2000. The scholarly enthusiasm, creativity and excellence of the center and the people associated with it has been a continued source of profound inspiration for me.
note regarding translations: all translations of French and German into
English are the authors unless otherwise indicated in the citation.
The description of Hellerau which opens Upton Sinclairs
novel, Worlds End, is partly fictional and should not be
taken as historical evidence. Sinclair claims that the opera began with
the overture and ended with the blissful reunion of Orpheus and Eurydice,
for example. These are literary details invented by Sinclair for the
purposes of his novel.
2. Bie, like other critics, did not seem to recognize this as a yin-yang symbol. Instead, he described it as an S in a circle (eine S-Linie im Kreis). See also Seidl 28.
The supporters of the Hellerau project frequently
compared Jaques-Dalcrozes Bildungsanstalt to the pedagogical
province from Goethes Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre. See
Die Schulfeste der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze, title page;
Seidl 12, 15, 23; and Marsop 363. Seidl commented that this symbol embodied
the Hellerau project and could be seen from very far away (29). It is
important to note that Jaques-Dalcrozes production of Glucks
Orpheus und Eurydice took place at dusk. Seidl comments on how
inconvenient he found the 7:00 pm starting time in comparison with the
4:00 pm scheduling of operatic performances at Bayreuth (31).
For a description of the building as naked
see Engel in the Berliner Tageblatt, 3 June 1912 (Appia 103).
The main hall was 49 meters long, 16 meters wide,
and twelve meters high, creating an unusual rectangular space that critics
frequently mentioned in their reviews. The bare walls had been draped
in a white cloth, over which were set 3,000 blue, green and white light
bulbs at equal intervals. A second wax-drenched white cloth had been
hung one meter over the lightbulbs in order to diffuse the glow of light.
Capable of alternating in patterns of blue, green, and white and creating
crescendos and diminuendos, the strength and color of the lightbulbs
were set in motion by the engineer Harald Dohrn, who handled a light
console with 47 circuits behind the scenes and also controlled the mobile
screens on the ceiling which could be lowered to allow light to pass
from projectors that acted as spotlights. The light system cost 70,000
Marks and was installed by Siemens-Schuckert, as many critics commented.
It had been invented by Alexandre von Salzman, inspired by Jaques-Dalcroze
and Adolph Appia, and influenced by Rudolf Steiner. This description
of the light is provided in Appia 10311.
Paul Bekker, review in the Frankfurter Zeitung,
21 June 1912, translated into French by Marie L. Bablet-Hahn in Appia
207. Salzman wrote that instead of lighted space, we have a light-producing
space. Light is conveyed through the space itself, and the diversion
of visible light sources is done away with. (So haben wir
statt eines belichteten Raumes einen leuchtenden Raum. Das Licht ist
in den Raum selbst übertragen, und das Ablenkende der sichtbaren
Lichtquelle fällt weg) (70).
The crowd included, at different times, Ernest Bloch,
Paul Claudel, Serge Diaghilev, Harley Granville-Barker, Hugo von Hofmannsthal,
Hanya Holm, Percy Ingham, Kurt Jooss, Rudolf von Laban, Le Corbusier,
Emil Nolde, Anna Pavlova, Serge Rachmaninoff, Max Reinhardt, Alfred
Roller, George Bernhard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, Constantin Stanislavski,
and Prince Serge Volkonski.
Jaques-Dalcrozes interest in Greek orchestique
is documented in Dutoit-Carlier 34950. Jaques-Dalcroze felt that
Grétry, Gluck, Wagner, Schiller, and Goethe had all tried in
the past to create an art analogous to Greek orchestique
(un art analogue à lorchestique grecque) (no
source, qtd. in Dutoit-Carlier 349). Most contemporaneous writers traced
Jaques-Dalcrozes definition of Greek dance back to Wagners
commentary in Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft, an excerpt of which
was included in the original program for the school festival in Hellerau
in 1912. See Die Schulfeste der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze:
Most of these plans never materialized, due to the
financial bankruptcy faced by the Hellerau project after 1914. See Arnold
Riemerschmidt was not the only architect to work
in Hellerau, however. Over the years the style of its buildings did
not remain unified.
In their desire to transform human beings by providing
them with the proper surrounding, training, and culture, the developers
of the Hellerau project showed their allegiance to the ideals of the
ambiguous movement known as the Reform of Life. See De Michelis
149; and Frecot 13852.
Classes in harmony and choral singing were taught
by Ernst Lendvai. See De Zoete 23.
See Gluck, Orfeo ed Euridice. Glucks
Orpheus was performed around this time, for example, in Chemnitz
(1913), Dresden, Frankfurt (1913), Hellerau (1913), Lauchstedt (1913),
London (1905), Mézières (1911), Milan (1907), Munich (1909),
New York (1906,10,12), Orange (1911), and Paris (1905, 07, 08, 12, 13).
For lists of performances of Glucks works in Germany in the first
fourteen years of the twentieth century, see Keller. Abert comments
on the lack of attention given to Gluck in Germany at the time of the
founding of the Gluck Gesellschaft in Zum Geleit
1. In a later article, Abert writes that Gluck is no longer alive:
the masses relate to him as Faust would to the bible: they admire him,
but without any desire. For many people, not only amateurs but also
musicians, Gluck is a long forgotten great. (lebendig: Die
grosse Masse stellt sich zu ihm, wie etwa Faust zu den Sakramenten:
sie ehrt ihn, doch ohne Verlangen; für viele, und zwar nicht allein
unter den Laien, sondern auch unter den Musikern, ist er eine längst
abgetane Größe) (Abert, Gluck 1). See also
Arend argues that Glucks dance compositions
interrelated in important ways with developments in dance in his own
day, their resonances being felt in Richard Strausss Josephslegende,
the events at Hellerau, and the dances of Isadora Duncan (17). Arend
published the libretto to Glucks Don Juan in the Neue
Zeitschrift für Musik (1905): 1214.
Storck and others defined Beethovens music
as most inappropriate for realization in dance (30). Isadora Duncan
received harsh criticism for her use of Beethovens Symphony No.
7 in 1908 and again in 1909, with Walter Damrosch and the New York Sympony
Orchestra (Daly 143). Compare, as well, the comments on Beethoven, Wagner,
program music, and Jaques-Dalcrozes project in Hellerau in Bachmann
139144; and Brandenburg 7476. Brandenburg rejects Storcks
and others distinction between tönend bewegte Formen
and Ausdrucksmusik, concluding that the best music for dance
is that which contains movement impulses (Bewegungsimpulse).
Berlioz not only enriched Glucks orchestra
through an informed analysis of the original scores, but also rewritten
Orpheuss part for a mezzo-soprano (Pauline Viardot-Garcia), establishing
a tradition that survived in Germany until Fall 1913. See Barshams
Berlioz and Gluck. Barsham gives a table comparing Berliozs
with Glucks Viennese and Parisian versions of the opera on pages
12734 of the same volume.
Jaques-Dalcroze wrote a series of letters to Appia
after the performances in Mézières and St. Petersburg,
expressing his dissatisfaction with them. In an undated letter to Appia,
he writes that the staging in Mézières resulted
from a pictoral fantasy, and never, not for a single moment, from the
music (Une mise en scène improvisée issue
dune fantaisie picturale, mais ne découlant pas de la musique,
à aucun moment) (qtd. in Stadler 440).
When the second act of Orpheus was performed
in Hellerau in 1912, a stage curtain was not present. It was added,
however, in 1913. Adolph Appia strongly disapproved of the use of this
curtain, because it distinguished between the performers and spectators
in a manner he found old-fashioned (Volbach 8792). There is very
little information on the orchestration Jaques-Dalcroze used for his
production of Glucks Orpheus. We do know, however, that
the orchestra was sunken and invisible, and that the instruments had
been arranged in an unusual fashion to accentuate their individual colors.
See Riesenfeld 472.
Description given by Richard Vesely, in Hudebni
Revue (Prague) 6 (191213): 57375; translated into French
in Appia 215. See also Auguste de Morsiers review from the Journal
de Genève (30 June 1913) in Appia 218. H.C. Bonifas notes
in his review in La Semaine littéraire (Geneva, 26 July
1913) that the overture was omitted (Appia 222). It was common to use
a female alto for the part of Orpheus in Germany at this time, although
the much talked about staging in Lauchstadt in November 1913 used a
baritone as noted above. See Orpheus auf der Elbinger
20. Although Jaques-Dalcroze admired Isadora Duncans revolutionary desire to revive Greek dance, he felt that she did not understand or respond adequately to the music. See Dutoit-Carlier 35152.
A comparison of Jaques-Dalcrozes movement practice
with recent recorded performances of Glucks Orpheus demonstrates
how innovative and musical his approach was. In the Glyndebourne Festival
Opera production of Orpheus, the dancers walk rhythmically against
the music in both this scene and the Dance of the Blessed Spirits,
demonstrating not a dramatic intention, but rather a lack of feeling
for the music they are singing. (Watch
video example 2)
Jaques-Dalcrozes writings quote most frequently
not from late nineteenthcentury philosophy, but rather from classical
French eighteenthcentury writers like Diderot, Montaigne, La Rochefoucauld,
Rousseau, and Fenélon. Nevertheless, German critics tended to
link his plastique animée to Nietzsches philosophy.
See Riesenfeld. In his study on Hellerau, Seidl rooted Jaques-Dalcrozes
plastique animée in a German aesthetic tradition beginning
with Lessings Laokoon, and developing through Herders
Von der Grazie, Schillers Bühne als moralische
Bildungsanstalt and Briefe über ästhetische Erziehung,
Goethes Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Heinrich von Kleists
Gespräch über das Marionetten-Theater, Wagners
Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft, Gottfried Kellers Am Mythenstein,
Nietzsches Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Hans
von Bülows III. Deutschen Kunsterziehungstag,
and Karl Buchers Arbeit und Rhythmus. Many of these sources
are cited frequently throughout the literature on Hellerau.
Jaques-Dalcroze used and studied primarily music
by Chopin, Berlioz, and Liszt in his classes on rhythmic gymnastics.
He made a particular point of buying all his students copies of Beethovens
Symphony No. 7, so that they could study the dance rhythms (See Suzanne
Perrottet 48, 53, 54; and Martin 324). Like many of his contemporaries,
Jaques-Dalcroze also admired Richard Strausss music because of
its potential for modern dance. After seeing the closing dance of Strausss
Elektra in Munich in 1909, Jaques-Dalcroze exclaimed [Elektra]
dances, and we realize how much more expressive the body is than words,
even when they are sung. (elle danse, et lon se rend
compte alors combien le corps est plus expressif que la parole, même
) (qtd. in Berchtold 81). Jaques-Dalcrozes
contemporaries likewise associated Strausss operas (especially
Feuersnot, Salome, and Elektra) with a new sensibility
that would lead to the physical expression of music (Riesenfeld 472,
and Marsop 38285).
Jaques-Dalcroze comments on rubato in Le Rhythme
au Théâtre, La Grande Revue (Paris) (10 June
1910): 53950 (qtd. in Appia 12). The recording you hear here of
Emmy Leisner was made over a decade after her performance at Hellerau.
I was not able to find any indication of how she performed the work
Many modern dancers would embrace the notion that
irregular meters were more suitable to visual realization in dance.
Perhaps for this reason, Jaques-Dalcroze found this
first act easiest to stage (letter to Appia, 11 February 1913, qtd.
in Stadler 446.) Richard Wagner also felt that this act best represented
the complete harmony of music and image. (die vollkommene
Harmonie der Musik und des Bildes.) (Richard Wagner in a comment
to the ballet master Fricke, quoted by Marsop, Die Hellerauer
Feste und ihr Programm, in Die Schulfeste der Bildungsanstalt
Jaques-Dalcroze: Programm 43).
Shawn describes statue posing as falsification
of the science which Delsarte taught (11).
Jaques-Dalcroze owned Angélique Arnaud, François
Del Sarte, ses découvertes en esthétique, sa science,
sa méthode (Paris: A. Giraudet, 1895); and François
Del Sarte, Physionomie et gestes (see Appia 28). Jaques-Dalcroze
criticized Isadora Duncans students for adopting such poses from
Greek statues, thereby neglecting spontaneous, sincere feelings
of the music (qtd. from unnamed source in Dutoit-Carlier 352). Jaques-Dalcrozes
supporters likewise linked his approach to bodily movement back to Del
Sarte, rejecting Isadora Duncans work as inadequate to the music.
See Storck 2829.
It is interesting to contemplate the correspondence
between Jaques-Dalcrozes and Appias understanding of space
and Edmund Husserls definition of objectivized space in Ding
und Raum. Rudolf Laban radically revised this approach by centering
spatial motion subjectively in the individual in the theories of Choreographie
that he developed in the 1920s.
Weber-Baulers study on Jaques-Dalcroze is quoted
in Dutoit-Carlier 3378. No source for the study is given.
Jaques-Dalcroze, comments from an unnamed sources
in Dutoit-Carlier 321. Dutoit-Carlier cites the later work of Adolphe
Ferrière as important to understanding this notion of detente.
The use of blue light in the first scene is documented
by Richard Vesely, in Hudebni Revue VI, translated into French
in Appia 215.
Seidl commented on how distressing he found the absence
of Orpheuss lyre (367).
This was the only scene in the opera in which Jaques-Dalcrozes
students sang and danced at the same time.
Arend comments that the furies were world famous
in spite of their normally dreadful representation (trotz
ihrer üblichen jämmerlichen Darstellung). He describes
how Wagner omitted the dance sequences in his productions of Gluck because
of his dissatisfaction with the quality of the Dresden ballet. See Arend
16; and Marsop 378.
Berlioz had kept the Dance of the Furies
at the end of this act in his version of the opera from 1866. See Barsham,
Table of Numbers 129. The dance rarely opened the
act in any of the existing hybrid versions of the opera, however.
Isadora Duncans Dance of the Furies
(1911) is recreated on the video Isadora Duncan: Movement from the
Adolphe Appia was the guiding influenced in the choice
of costumes for this scene. Jaques-Dalcroze had been using marine blue
gym suits since 1908. Adolphe Appia fought bitterly with the actual
designer, the doctor Léon Weber-Bauler, over the costumes for
the furies, and left Hellerau in a fit of rage. He was so distraught
at the thought of the furies wearing anything fancy or colorful instead
of plain blue gym suits that he was supposedly sick for eight days and
cried more than he ever had in his life. In 1922, he commented to his
doctor that he had wanted the furies to perform nude, and had thus resisted
any attempts to give them costumes resembling clothes (Appia 11114).
There was much dispute about whether the gym suits were blue, black,
or grey. In his writings on the subject, Appia favored grey as a color
that could best absorb and reflect light. See Du costume pour
la gymnastique rythmique, in Appia 160.
Not everybody was terrified by Annie Becks
choreographic vision. Robert Breuer, for example, found this scene kitsch,
exuding all the sweet romanticism of Bartholomés
frescos of death. He also criticized Jaques-Dalcroze for visualizing
the music in a manner that suppressed the singers individuality
in favor of choral, mass effects. See Breuer 5152.
Müller gives the most detailed account of the
changes Jaques-Dalcroze made to Glucks score. He departs from
the premise that Jaques-Dalcrozes set as his basis a Peters
Edition of the opera. I assume he is referring to Christoph Willibald
Gluck, Orpheus: Oper in 3 Akten, Klavierauszug nach der französischen
Partitur, transcribed by Alfred Dörffel (Leipzig: C.F. Peters,
41. Koritz discusses how Isadora Duncan similarily convinced critics of the seriousness of her art by classicizing it, thereby diverting their attention away from her body as an object of desire (3156).
Ernest Ansermet, in Gazette de Lausanne, 3
July 1913, quoted in Appia 124. Ansermet comments that the blessed spirits
serenity was not matched by the music, which was poorly performed.
Jaques-Dalcroze, letter to Adolphe Appia, 20 December
1912, quoted in Stadler 446.
Wieland Wagner solved the problem of the third act
of Glucks Orpheus in exactly the same manner in his more
well-known production of the work in Bayreuth in the 1950s. It seems
likely that Wagner would have known of or heard about Dalcrozes