An exploration of the “language of gesture”

March 29th to April 1st

Led by Anthony Blake, Bhati Díaz. Piano Guillermo Alonso Iriarte

A ‘language of gesture’ is said to be at the heart of Gurdjieff’s movements, but it is rarely investigated.

In this seminar we aim to come to a better understanding of the language of gesture.

In addition to the Gurdjieff’s dances we will also look on a larger canvas, examining various kinds of movement and practice, backed by the leading insights of John Bennett, for whom gesture was the language of will.

This is an ambitious and pioneering attempt to encompass multiple aspects of the meaning of dance and, specifically, the ‘language of gesture’. Our compass will include the Movements of Gurdjieff as prime case study material, but also many other kinds of dance and work with the body. There will be an overview of dance ancient and modern, east and west from, for example, the Odissi tradition of India to the hip-hop of America. Special attention will be paid to developments in twentieth century Europe, including various attempts to find spirituality through dance.

Our world or ‘monad’ of gesture will include the sources of gesture in work practices and the behaviour of animals, its expressive functions in theatre and its ritual meanings in ceremonies. We will look at the phenomenology of body image and awareness and various physical therapies, as well as the nature of eastern mudras and yoga. A special session will look at the history of gestures of prayer. This will lead us into the form of rituals, such as the Mass; and the general function of preserving cultural memories.

There will be sessions focussed on the role of music, especially with regard to rhythm and its relation to time. Particular Movements of Gurdjieff will be practised and analysed. The mathematical patterns of dance will be looked at, from the Baroque to Gurdjieff. This will be related to the notation of dance, leading us into how we learn a Movement, for example, and the burning question of what is its content?

Gurdjieff expressed the idea that dances were at one time like books. At another time, he implied that specific gestures corresponded to or evoked specific inner states. We will see how far we can test such ideas. A third aspect, is how each of us has a unique signature of gesture and there is a special work of blending intentional practices into our everyday life and activities.

Behind the various expositions and explorations we will be bearing in mind the bold statement by John Bennett that gesture is the language of will.

We will look into: what is known of the earliest forms of dance; the dances of traditional cultures; modern dance and research; forms of dynamic healing; true self-expression or ‘unconcealment’; Gurdjieff’s sacred gymnastics; ritual and worship; levels and qualities of sensation, and movements of the inner bodies, including movements that come ‘from within’.


Location: Masia la Torre, is located near the village of Nogueruelas (Teruel) Spain

For more information and to register: please contact: Eva Guillem –

Seminar Leaders

Anthony Blake, Director of Research of the DuVersity and a leading exponent of the ideas of John Bennett and his systematics, as well as of dialogue and modern ideas of communication and experiential knowledge.   (See for more information about DuVersity)



Bhati J.Díaz, Movement instructor. Directs Gurdjieff’s Work and Teaching groups from the Akhaldan Association (Spain) Therapist with more than twenty years of experience in body work Osteopathy and Acupunture




Piano: Guillermo Alonso Iriarte