Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Eurhythmics – Wacky Word Wednesday

We hope everyone’s enjoying the slightly cooler weather this week. T for Translation is right back at you with a new edition of Wacky Word Wednesday. Being halfway through the week, some of you might already be dreaming about the weekend, longing to get out on the dance floor and shake that work-induced stress away. However, knowing how to get the moves right is not something everyone’s blessed with. Today’s featured vocabulary from TermWiki.com might help those two-left-footers out of their dance floor clumsiness and into the swing!

eu·rhyth·mics

[yoo-rith-miks]

-noun

a system of training through physical movement to music to develop grace and musical understanding.

The word eurhythmics, composed of the Greek words eu, ‘good,’ and rhythmos, ‘any  regular recurring motion,’ refers to a training system invented by Swiss composer Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, which aims to develop deeper musicality and creative expression through body movements.

Mr. Jaques-Dalcroze introduced his method in the early 20th century. His approach to musical education, still practiced in many places around the world, revolves around three main pillars: rhythmics, ear-training, and improvisation. Together these three principles are supposed to lead to an integrated and expressive understanding of music.

Eurhythmics is not to be confused with the related, yet subtly different movement art of eurythmy, which was developed by two of Jaques-Dalcroze’s contemporaries, Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers, with the goal of creating a new art form as well as a pedagogical discipline. To avoid confusion, eurhythmics – the focus of this post – may also be referred to as Dalcroze eurhythmics.

Despite the word’s origins, what – for most people – will come to mind first when encountering this week’s wacky word will be Dalcroze’s training system’s eponymous music duo, Eurythmics (here written without the “h”). Gaining world fame in the 1983 with the single “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the British pop group has sold over seventy-five million records worldwide. Annie Lennox, the female half of the duo, decided on the band’s name having come across Dalcroze eurhythmics when she was a child.

Check out the following two example sentences:

  • No wonder they are amazing dancers – they all had eurhythmics in school!
  • Clad in purple draperies, we performed symbolic, posturing dance steps called eurhythmics. (Collins)

That’s it for this week’s vocabulary dosage. Don’t forget to swing by next week for another Wacky Word Wednesday!

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