Else Klink

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Else Klink (October 23, 1907 in Kabakada, Bismarck Archipelago – October 18, 1994 in Köngen, Germany) was director of the Eurythmeum Stuttgart, the first training centre for Eurythmy founded by Marie Steiner in 1923, from 1935 until 1991. In 1945 she established the Eurythmeum Stage Group, which she also led until 1991. Her work contributed centrally to establishing Eurythmy as a performing art within the culture of Europe and internationally. [1] [2]

Bismarck Archipelago archipelago in the Pacific Ocean north of New Guinea

The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean and is part of the Islands Region of Papua New Guinea. Its area is about 50,000 square km.

Köngen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Köngen is a municipality in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

Eurythmy expressive movement art associated with Anthroposophy

Eurythmy is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is also used in education, especially in Waldorf schools, and – as part of anthroposophic medicine – for claimed therapeutic purposes.


First experiences in Eurythmy

As the oldest daughter of Hans August Lorenz Klink, a northern German senior colonial official, and Nawjamba Ambo, an indigenous New Guinean, Else Klink grew up on Kabakada, one of the New Guinean islands. While attending a German girls' school, Else lived with friends of her family in Freiburg im Breisgau. When her foster parents died in June 1917, she was taken in by Anna Wolffhügel, a teacher of Eurythmy. Anna's husband, Max Wolffhügel, a painter and later Waldorf teacher in Stuttgart, became leader of the Anthroposophical Branch in Freiburg in 1918 and he invited Rudolf Steiner to lecture on August 19, 1919. Rudolf Steiner recommended that the children take Eurythmy lessons from Alice Fels, who was holding classes in Freiburg.

Freiburg im Breisgau Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with a population of about 220,000. In the south-west of the country, it straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. A famous old German university town, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early twelfth century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical center of the upper Rhine region. The city is known for its medieval minster and Renaissance university, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. The city is situated in the heart of the major Baden wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entry point to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, the city is the sunniest and warmest in Germany, and held the all-time German temperature record of 40.2 °C (104.4 °F) from 2003 to 2015.

Waldorf education educational philosophy

Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity is a central focus.

Rudolf Steiner Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian clairvoyant, philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.

From 1921 to 1926, Else Klink attended the first Waldorf school at the Uhlandshöhe in Stuttgart, where her talent for Eurythmy was identified. In 1924, she began taking a reduced load of other classes and spent most of her day in Eurythmy classes with Alice Fels, then leader of the Eurythmeum that stood next door to the school.

The Uhlandshöhe is a hill in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron". It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 634,830, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city's administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

In October 1929 she went to the Netherlands to introduce Eurythmy there. Together with Wilhelmina Stigter, Klink fought the odds of a foreign language, long-distance commuting and only a small number of interested learners. In 1930 they held a first performance, in which she asked the dramatist, director and speaker, Otto Wiemer to recite and direct. It marked the beginning of a 30-year collaboration in which he was her artistic partner and advisor, lasting until Wiemer's death in 1960. For five years she built up the Eurythmy work in the Netherlands, then became seriously ill in 1934 and was forced to leave.

The Eurythmeum

Then, in 1935, Marie Steiner sent her to Stuttgart to set up the Eurythmeum once again, which had been discontinued in 1930, and confirmed her as its director. [3]

Starting in 1936 the authorities of the Third Reich began to severely curtail the practice of Eurythmy. Klink tried to save her school and travelled to Berlin to negotiate. She managed to come to an agreement that the training could continue, and "Eurythmie" was given a sub-category under the heading of dance. However, all performing of Eurythmy was banned and the diplomas issued had to be ratified by the Reichstheaterkammer. Unobtrusively, Klink ran courses for 40 students over the next six years. When on July 8, 1941 her students had successfully completed their program and their diplomas, "decorated" with the required swastika, were returned on August 2, 1941, they were no longer of any value. Eurythmy had been forbidden and the school had to close. [4]

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Swastika a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia and 20th-century symbol of Nazism

The swastika or sauwastika is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia. Swastik is used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions. In the Western world, it was a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck until the 1930s, when it became a feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of Aryan identity. As a result of World War II and the Holocaust, most people in the Western World associate it with Nazism and antisemitism.

She was then required to do three years of "Women's War Service" in a parachute factory. When on September 12, 1944 Stuttgart was bombed and the building of the Eurythmeum destroyed, she left the city and found asylum in the village Gundelfingen on the Swabian Alp, where she could practice in an empty barn. Realising that the Third Reich would soon be over, she convinced her pianist, Getrud Födisch and speaker, Otto Wiemer, to join her, preparing a large tone and speech repertoire for the stage. When the war ended, she and Wiemer returned on foot to Stuttgart and began holding Eurythmy lessons in the hall of the Waldorf School. [5] [6] On November 8, 1945 the first performance took place in a factory building, after which she received a number of requests for training and founded the Eurythmeum Stage Ensemble. As the Eurythmeum building was a mound of rubble, she moved to Köngen where she and Otto Wiemer were able to build up a stage and start a Eurythmy school in old army barracks her principal supporter, Emil Kühn, had been able to secure from the American occupation army. Fortuitously, the American commander was Captain John Fentress Gardner, an anthroposophist and well aware of the art of Eurythmy. In 1948 they founded an association for the fostering of Eurythmy. [1] They called the provisional setting of their school "Private Eurythmy Conservatory Köngen", having done all this in isolation from the rest of the world.

In 1947 she was finally able to report on what had happened to Marie Steiner in Switzerland, communication having been cut off for nearly ten years. Marie Steiner, the person responsible for the anthroposophical performing arts, bestowed on her the unrestricted rights to all future activities in Eurythmy. That same year the group gave 17 performances in Wurtemberg and eight in the Ruhrgebiet with a varied program. By 1950 the number had risen to some 50 per year. [1] [7]

Performing Eurythmy

In 1959 the Eurythmeum was rebuilt next door to the Rudolf Steiner House in Stuttgart with its own financial trust, securing the means for a larger stage group and the incorporation of live orchestral music. Klink worked on the preparation of student Eurythmists and the stage group with a vision of building an organisation and repertoire that could make Eurythmy known throughout the world. In 1961 the Eurythmy premiere of Schubert's 8th Symphony (Unfinished Symphony) took place; in 1974 first performance tour in Romania and through Germany at the invitation of the Romanian Philharmonia Arad. In 1975 she was invited to the "Festival de la Danse" in Paris to represent Germany. 1976 and 1978 she toured again with the Romanian Philharmonia Arad through Germany following with a tour through the United States and Canada and 1979 through seven cities in Romania, including the Congressional Palace in Bucharest with its 3000 seats. By this time every performance was packed wherever she went. [1]

In 1986 she received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. She continued to organise international tours, with two additional ones in America. [8] In 1991 she handed over the direction of the Eurythmeum to a group of her co-workers and teachers. She continued to live until 1994 in the Villa Kühn in Köngen, where she died on October 18. In 1992 the Eurythmy ensemble was renamed in her honour as the Else Klink Ensemble.

Published work


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Else Klink bei der Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls, retrieved 2014.11.26
  2. "Heute: Todestag von Else Klink, Info 3 retrieved 2014.11.28". Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  3. Das Else-Klink-Ensemble Stuttgart Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine , retrieved 4. September 2009
  4. Eurythmie Lebenswege – 16 Biographien erzählen edited by Christine Lubczyk, Otanes Verlag Berlin (2007) ISBN   393137081X
  5. Anthroposophen in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus (1933–1945) Uwe Werner, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag 24. März 1999 ISBN   978-3486563627
  6. Eurythmy – Extensive Definition, AskDefine retrieved 2014.11.28
  7. How the New Art of Eurythmy Began: Lory Maier-Smits, the First Eurythmist By Magdalene Siegloch Temple Lodge Publishing (1998) ISBN   978-0904693904
  8. Eurythmeum Stuttgart: Vocabulary of Dance Article by CATHY CURTIS October 04, 1989 Los Angeles Times retrieved 2014.11.28&