Author/Artist: Wim van Dullemen
First published: 2014
G.I. Gurdjieff (1866?-1949) dedicated his life to the pursuit and teaching of an ancient knowledge about Man and the Universe.
Gurdjieff's Movements is the name given to the collective body of dances he collected, choreographed and developed as part of his teaching. In all probability, Gurdjieff must have taught well over a thousand Movements throughout his teaching life, but only a couple of hundred are still remembered today.
The Movements are based on traditional dances Gurdjieff learned as he traveled all through the Middle and Far East, Central Asia and Africa, where he encountered, observed and participated in various Sufi Orders, Buddhist centers, Dervishes, ancient hidden monasteries and other sources of traditional culture and learning.
The Music for the Movements was written by Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann, a composer who was one of his students. The musical formats systematically represent some of the cosmic laws taught by him.
Gurdjieff taught that the Movements were not just exercises in concentration and displays of bodily coordination: on the contrary, the Movements incorporate real, actual knowledge, passed on for generations - each posture representing a cosmic truth the informed observer can read like a book.
Wim van Dullemen, 1942, pupil of the Dutch composer Wijdeveld, is one of the first musicians to perform the music of Gurdjieff in concert halls of international importance. Van Dullemen has been accompanying Movements classes for over forty years, playing, practicing, researching and teaching.
Amir Kaufmann, 1962, an artist, photographer and film maker. His works's main aim is to reveal with outer images internal emotional ‘States’ and freeze existential moments ('BEing in the moment') - words presented by utilizing visual impressions - to stimulate and inspire the observer.
On the book and the film
This new book 'Gurdjieff's Movements - The Pattern Of All And Everything' (©, Germany 2014, hard cover, 246 pages) sketches the Movements' history, diversity, developments and developed frames since Gurdjieff's personal work, his death and students to recent developments. The book visualizes many personal experiences, the movements' importance, the fundamental movements sounds and laws within the accompanying music,
This new film 'Gurdjieff's Movements - A Body Towards An Aim' (©, Germany 2010, 60 minutes), allows a unique view into two rare topics: these movements and the sound. The movements - with its evolving process from initial choreography research, backstage rehearsals and up to the final performance. The touch of sound: a main substance Gurdjieff had emphasized, collected and used - and has been researched by van Dullemen for many years.
On the project
This new dual book/film release brings to a closure seven years of complex hard work, and a collaboration between van Dullemen and Kaufmann, in Berlin, Germany. Van Dullemen relates to the project seed idea and birth in his book:
"When I started writing the first chapters of this book, I met Amir Kaufmann, a filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist, who wished to make here in Berlin, a new film dedicated to his own experiences with Gurdjieff’s ideas and possibly incorporating Movements. Amir had previously published a book on the existential essence of sounds, 'Magical Sounds'. This background enhanced our communications and our perceptions merged into a mutual approach. The idea of a joint project was born."
Book/DVD package purchase:
This new book and film DVD are available to purchase in a combined market format only. Orders could be made directly through:
• In the U.S. - through 'By The Way Books' store: Link to By The Way Books
• In Europe - through the 'Movement Foundation' site: The Movements foundation
(Dec 2014 update: First edition was sold out in Europe and is available only from the U.S.)
To arrange a film screening - please contact the producer directly.
Great efforts were made to prevent textual errors in the book, although by nature, this is an endless and limited task. We would be thankful to any correction sent to the writer - which would help to improve future editions.
Efforts were made to print the DVD and test it for compatibility to the current and latest market hardware/software versions of DVD players, including Blu-Ray technology (although the film is in SD quality), Apple and PC computers. Still, as of the nature of this diverse versions technology market, aging platforms or self modified versions - it would not be possible to guarantee smooth play of the DVD in such occasions.
Wim van Dullemen - firstname.lastname@example.org , Movements Foundation
Amir Kaufmann - email@example.com , amir-artfilm.de
The book is extremely interesting and structured, and enjoyable to read. This cannot be said of the film; and to read here that this is the fruit of 7 years of work by a "filmmaker" (shall we call him a mini-DV-maker?) is a bit disconcerting; what I watched seemed to be thrown together as an afterthought and didn't look like more than a week of work.
Gurdjieff's ideas should be represented better in Movie form, reflecting the beliefs of the importance of "work." What we see here is a badly shot, badly mic'd, badly edited narrowly yet shallowly focused documentary on an extremely interesting subject.
Anon, United States
juan casiabi, Mexico
Wim describes what it means to use the touch of sound to establish a mutual interchange between the musician und the dancer and how important the element of improvisation was to support the inner work that takes place every certain moment in the dancers of the class.
Looking at the Movements on the DVD caused in me a feeling of being connected with universal laws or, as it was said in the film, to have a look into heaven. Especially watching the 'Prayer of 26th June' caused joy, nearly as much as practicing the Movements by myself . . .
Matthias Buck-Gramcko, Germany
Especially the second part of the book provides a lot of information about the origin, several creative periods, recent developments and the resulting structure of Gurdjieff's Movements. He also gives an interesting overview of the whole 'Movements scene', the roles persons and organisations play who were directly or indirectly involved.
This story line Wim complements with his own experiences and insights, which makes the book authentic and sometimes even humorous. He describes his own way from the first experiences with Movements up to what he represents now: a leading authority in Gurdjieff's Movements and Music.
Thank you Wim, for sharing this knowledge with us!
Matthias Buck-Gramcko, Germany
I enjoyed both the subjective and objective elements of the book (which I have just finished reading); subjective, as based on the direct experience of Wim van Dullemen during his contact with the Gurdjieff Work for over 50 years.
Also the objective: the presentation of the Gurdjieff Work (also apart from the Movements) gives a good idea of what the Work is about and takes the reader further than so many writings now available.
Reijo Oksanen, Switzerland