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Survival of Utopias – Weiterlebende Utopien

Life Reform and Progressive Education in Austria and Hungary – Lebensreform und Reformpädagogik in Österreich und Ungarn


András Németh, Claudia Stöckl and Beatrix Vincze

Life reform and progressive education developed various utopias and projected new ways of cultural, social, religious and political living. This book studies how these utopias lived on until World War II, how they still affect present life in Austria and Hungary, and it examines continuities and differences within the political, educational and cultural movements of both countries. The main focus lies on interrelations between educational utopias and strategies and the development of a collective identity in times of radical political and social changes.

Lebensreform und Reformpädagogik entwarfen Utopien für das kulturelle, soziale und religiöse Leben. Dieses Buch untersucht das Weiterleben dieser Utopien bis zum Beginn des zweiten Weltkrieges, ihre Wirkungen bis in die Gegenwart in Österreich und Ungarn und beleuchtet Kontinuitäten und Differenzen innerhalb der (bildungs-)politischen und kulturellen Strömungen beider Länder. Im Zentrum steht die Frage nach Zusammenhängen zwischen pädagogischen Utopien und Strategien und den Entwicklungen von kollektiver Identität in Zeiten politischer und gesellschaftlicher Umbrüche und Verunsicherungen.

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A Short Note on Valéria Dienes and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (Ágnes Boreczky & Márk Fenyves)


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Ágnes Boreczky & Márk Fenyves

A Short Note on Valéria Dienes and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze

Valéria Dienes, a mathematician, philosopher, dancer and teacher, who worked out the system of orchestica and founded the Budapest School of Orchestica in 1917, referred to and commented on Dalcroze’s work quite frequently. She mentioned Dalcroze for the first time in 1915, when Art and Physical Training, her first study on contemporary gymnastics, was published in a journal called Hungarian Applied Arts. She described humans as the sculptors of their own body and thus the creators of beauty, who borrow their patterns from arts, but their creative work becomes art in itself, and then serves as a recurrent source of art (Dienes 1915, p. 226). In the paper she made clear distinctions between the methods of Mensendieck, Dalcroze and Duncan; she distinguished them by the relationship between the body and the arts. Comparing Duncan’s approach with that of Dalcroze she stated that the latter was based on music, from which the body could also benefit. ‘Music that moves into the body is the gymnastics of Dalcroze, Duncan’s music is the projection of the body, it is the spontaneous play of a body set free” (Dienes 1915, p. 227). The relatively neutral tone of her description dramatically changed by 1921. From September 1920 to November 1921 Dienes stayed in Vienna, as she had to leave Hungary after the fall of the Council Republic in 1919. During...

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