The Movements

Sacred dances and movements have always played an important part in the work of real schools.  They express an unknown dimension and reveal what is hidden from the average man - the reality of a higher level of being.  If we are able to pass from our ordinary level to a higher, it means that something in us is changed.  The changes are governed by definite cosmic laws, and a knowledge of these laws exist and can be discovered.

Students in Texas ready to practice Movements.

Waiting to begin

"Gurdjieff in his early travels and sojourns in temples and monasteries in the Middle and Far East and Central Asia witnessed and took part in various ritual dances and ceremonies;  and he realized that dance could be used as a language to express knowledge of a higher order - cosmic knowledge.  This language is mathematical, and according to exact measure.  Every movement has its appointed place, its duration and weight.  The combination and sequences are mathematically calculated. Postures and attitude are arranged to produce definite predetermined emotions.  In these, he who is watching them may also participate - he may read them as a script, in which the higher emotions and higher mind can take part.

Mr. Gurdjieff, during a long life devoted to study and questioning mastered the principles of those sacred dances which constitute a branch of objective art.  Understanding the principles, he was able to demonstrate truths through these movements."

- Gert-Jan Blom  Oriental Suite - Sacred Dances

The Movements hall in Houston.

The Houston Movements Hall

"In man, as in the universe, everything is in movement.  Nothing stays still or remains the same.  Nothing lasts forever or ends completely.  All that lives, evolves or declines in an endless movement of energy.  The laws underlying this universal process were known to ancient science, which assigned man his proper place in the cosmic order.  According to Gurdjieff, sacred dances, handed down over the centuries, embodied the principles of this knowledge, allowing it to be approached in a dynamic and direct way.

All the manifestations of life in man are expressed in forms by movements and attitudes, that is, postures.  From the most ordinary to the highest level, each possible manifestation has its own movement and its own attitude.  A thought has a movement and a form that is proper to it.  A feeling has a movement and form proper to it.  For an action it is the same.  Our entire education consists precisely in learning a whole repertoire of attitudes of thinking and feeling, and attitudes of moving.  This repertoire constitutes our automatism.  But we do not know it."

- Mme. Jeanne de Salzmann  The Reality of Being - Work in Movements

After Gurdjieff's death in 1949, Madame de Salzmann carried on his work by teaching the Movements to students in New York and Paris, who in turn have brought them to Gurdjieff groups around the world.  The Gurdjieff Foundation of Texas' relationship with the New York Foundation establishes a link to Gurdjieff through Madame de Salzmann and her students that ensures the accuracy and authenticity of the Movements practiced in Houston.  Additionally, the Houston group is fortunate in having trained leaders to bring the Movements to members of the Texas Foundation.