Concerning the spiritual in early modern dance: Émile Jaques-Dalcroze and Wassily Kandinsky advancing side by side | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2051-7068
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7076



In the decade before the outbreak of World War I, the newly emerging field of modern dance became one in which writers and visual artists, who rejected the materialism of nineteenth-century culture and society, explored ideas of the spiritual. This article gives a new historical reading to such ideas around dance in the period just before the outbreak of the Great War by focusing on two seemingly disparate figures. It considers the ways in which the musician Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, who devised the influential form Eurhythmics, and the visual artist Wassily Kandinsky, who pioneered the idea of abstraction in painting, discussed the spiritual in relation to dance and performance. It places this discussion in the broader context of its time by considering the artists and intellectuals around these two figures, with particular reference to two Englishmen, father and son, M.E. and M.T.H Sadler who travelled to Germany in the summer of 1912 to visit Kandinsky and Jaques-Dalcroze, and published the first books in English discussing their work. This new historical reading considers the role of dance in contemporary early twentieth-century discussions about the spiritual, and the range of different meanings that the term embraced during this period.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error