Henry Harmer is currently training in Eurythmy in Germany
As I prepare to enter my fourth and final year of training, I would like to share with you some of the experiences I’ve had during my eurythmy studies in Alfter, near Bonn, Germany. You may have read the article I wrote about my first year of study, in 2016, this is a follow up to inform you of what I have done and how it has been.
Looking back, the last two years have been quite a journey! My second year (09.2017-06.2018) was wrought with the challenge and internal struggle to motivate myself to learn German to the required level. In short, I managed to pass the language exam on my third attempt and this enabled me to re-join the second semester from February. I was over the moon to be able to continue my studies. With this renewed enthusiasm I got stuck into developing a new fairy tale with my class. After six weeks we took it on tour around the different schools and communities in North Rhein, Westphalia. We decided to take it on a second tour, before starting our third year in 2017. Overall, it was well received by the different audiences!
The fairy tale was about the river Father Rhein that flows nearby, with giants, mermaids, dwarfs and a dragon. We developed it for kindergarten children and classes 1 through to 5. I learned a great deal: how to compose songs from an already written text, how to work that into a choreography, how to develop in movement the different beings and work with their qualities, and how to connect with young audience in performance.
In September 2017 (start of my third year, 09.2017-06.2018), we received our music solo pieces that we worked on intensively before performing in December. I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to travel with a course colleague, to a school, similar to the Waldorf/Steiner school model, at Sekem, Egypt, for three weeks. They have a beautiful oasis outside of Cairo, that includes Heliopolis University that is also beautiful. They are doing good work there. My colleague and I took our soli and a piece from our fairy tale. These we performed at the university and school. The young children showed their appreciation with big smiles and joy!
From January to June, we were busy. On the 23rd of March we presented our Choreography Project performances. Here each of us in the third year had the opportunity to plan, think through and produce a piece of choreography with one or more people, to be performe before an audience. Our projects were diverse and my focus was on bringing elements of Haka, Karanga and Aboriginal dance together with elements of eurythmy. It was a challenging process, to both choreograph and direct the group. Luckily, with advice and support from my mentor, we were able to make it into something to be happy about. It has been an excellent experience to have all the responsibility for a project and work with four fabulous people to create something together that could be interesting for both eurythmist and audience.
My third year of eurythmy came to a close in June of this year, with many exams and performances. This last semester has been full on with early morning starts and studying late most days of the week. I am pleased and amazed to be able to say, the results that I have so far received for exams have been good! I think everyone in my year will be progressing to our fourth and last year! I am very excited for the coming year and the artistic work that we will be doing together. We start back on the 3rd of September.
I am currently back in New Zealand for two months for my practical experience in educational eurythmy at Raphael House Steiner School and Te Ra Steiner School in Wellington, Michael Park Steiner School and Titirangi Steiner School in Auckland.
Exciting news, in July 2019, our graduation year, my class and I are planning a tour to China and New Zealand! So, if you would like to see us performing or are interested in taking part it a work shop, we will be in New Zealand in July 2019!!! If you are interested, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Simpson email@example.com.
Before closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have helped me over the last few years financially, and morally. I could not have done this without your help. You have made this possible for me, for that I am humbled and very thankful. To be able to study eurythmy is a gift (literally and figuratively) that I treasure, I look forward to working with children and students in schools!
With your help I have been able to make ends meet, I have borrowed interest-free euros from the Alanus Eurythmy Fonds and received two scholarships from the Alanus University. My plans are to first find a teaching job in Germany to pay of my loans and gain experience teaching before returning to New Zealand.
If you wish to help me financially through my last year of study, I would be very grateful for any assistance. Donations can be made via Crystal Bridge or direct to my Westpac bank account number 03-0642-0009277-001.