It is said that life is a journey along many paths of learning of which we collect and carry the many morsels or snippets to reach a destined illumination. For some this path is a drudgery of ambiguous sign-posts and seemingly insurmountable obstacles of pointlessness blinding us to revelations of missed opportunity. For others though the path, the same path, is rich in its prospect and indeed a breeding ground for inspiration and fulfillment. The path is not one on which we travel from cradle to grave, but is filled with bright beacons of light leading us to our calling or spiritual path to self-attainment.
I was born December 14th 1957 in Melbourne, Australia, a cultural centre with deep roots in Europe and England. My life’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable given where my path, one of the many roads I may have taken, has kept my determination to fulfil not only my own earthly and spiritual needs but more to reveal my collection of experiences and learnings as a body of work to share with and elucidate the many souls whom I have met and will still meet along the way.
Though, for a short period, my adult life was drawn into the ordinary my destiny was always in eurythmy. I never really saw any fruitfulness in mundane exploits such as my professions as a semi-professional golf pro, or as professional gambler or any other occupation for that matter. My vocational calling was much deeper that that; my reason was beyond mere existence. And as was the ritual of my early life that I was always lead back in the direction and teachings of Rudolf Steiner to use my gifts in art, music and theatre as expressions of love, compassion and solidary to and between others.
My earlier years in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs were filled with the love of the arts in all its forms; my inspirations were those who came before such as A. A. Milne, Beethoven among many others. I was raised by my mother and grandmother who filled my childhood with art, love and compassion for others. The home was always surrounded by culture with a leaning outside of the mainstream. So I did not mature into dogma of mediocrity, but rather filled my head with questions on the comings and goings of those others of my generation. And, it was through such ideological reasoning that I was able to embrace the craft to which I was born. One who stirred me greatly was arguably Australia’s greatest dancer Sir Robert Helpmann. I would travel with my aunt to see this man, this genius of movement, dance the music, many times in stage performances of Gilbert and Sullivan operas. So to the grace of where I was raised, who I was raised by and those who captured my imagination I remain steadfast and dedicated to these influences and through such to influence others.
Never the scholarly scholar, I found my high school years mundane and boring, I have never-the-less remained an ardent student of my calling. At 21 I travelled to New Zealand and then to England to undertake studies in Social Renewal at the Centre for Social Development. This was taught according to the principles of Rudolph Steiner based on his thesis The Threefold Social Order (1919) which I had first read when I was eighteen, developed by consultant Bernard Lievegoed for large companies and government.
Following this I returned to Australia, with the intention of earning some money. However feeling too inexperienced I instead enrolled in a science degree at La Trobe University with the intention of becoming a Steiner teacher. I completed this degree with a major in chemistry when I was 25 but as karma would have it I did not pursue this as a career and moved instead to Dornach, Switzerland.
Dornach was the then centre of Rudolf Steiner’s work world-wide which is where I rediscovered Eurythmy. But, as a sleepy hollow, Dornach was not the place for me to fully understand and undertake the level of training I desired and I was encouraged to relocate to Stuttgart and study, under the tutelage of Else Klink, at the Eurthymeum. And so I arrived finally at the destination of what has become my life’s work; my mission; my calling.
Else Klink was the most lively enigmatic person I had ever met. She radiated with a glow that epitomized the depth and meaning of Eurythmy; an exuberance that exemplified the importance of speaking though movement. She saw in me what I could not, she was able to look through my skin into my passion and to help me see what I was unable to. What Else was able to show me was how to take my gift to the wider world and to carry on from her the soul and the spiritual attainment of Eurythmy.
I was unsure of her confidence in my potential as a Eurythmist, and I could have just as easily “up and left” the Eurythmeum and continue on my life’s path to where ever it may have taken me. However, there was a another spiritual grounding at Stuttgart that captured my senses and became the reason for completing my eurythmy training.
Whilst at Stuttgart I met my future wife, Friederike Heinsdorff with whom I went on to collaborate and perform over the ensuing decades. When I first laid eyes her I was enchanted by her movement. It is safe to say that had I not met Friederike I could not have developed my skills to the level I have arrived at. Here was a fellow artist with whom to flourish. And on completing our training, graduating in 1990, we returned to Australia and founded the Wander-Light Eurythmy Company.
The company toured schools around Australia and New Zealand from Cairns to Hobart, Perth to Auckland often with evening shows for the parents too. In between times we were invited to live and work in Moscow, Russia, giving courses and performing. Following this we separated for a short while which led me to giving eurythmy sessions, as a consultant, with a large company in Cologne, Germany.
On reuniting Friederike and I returned to Australia and settled in Castlemaine, Victoria. There followed our most creative period touring nationally four times covering Brothers Grimm and other fairytales including: Rumpelstiltskin; the Fisherman and his Wife; Jorinda and Jorindel among many others. These shows were produced with children and adults in mind and were performed in both theatre and in schools.
In this period I was working on adaptations of 3 Shakspearian classics — Hamlet, Lear and Richard III, and followed with T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, which became my major works. They were collaborative works between myself, the great Australian actor Reg Evans, my wife Friederike (and later Melbourne’s Dennis Coard). Reg had one of the finest speaking voices I had ever heard and Friederike crafted some of the most incredible costumes imaginable for these shows. They toured nationally at some of the most illustrious theatres and venues, including Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre and at Montsalvat in Eltham, to Melbourne’s woody east.
These productions consumed a lot of time and energy ranging from 18 months each to 3 ½ years for the Four Quartets to choreograph, rehearse and stage and they are the centerpiece of my life’s work.
So after years of learning, performing, educating and inspiring my work has now transitioned from my eurythmy-in-the-workplace impulse into the Social Art. Social Renewal remains my central thesis which has manifested into film for DVD, YouTube and other internet portals. But more my focus is on our situation between mental illness and expression — YOU ARE THE CLOUD.
Eurythmy is expression via the body, we become a larynx. Larynxes talk, engage.