Christoph Graf

Christoph Graf

28 January 2020 Ingrid Everwijn 6827 views

Christoph Graf crossed the threshold of the spiritual world on 30 November 2019, unexpectedly for the many people who knew him. Only eleven days earlier he had taught with great vitality and intensity, as one of his course participants reported, so that this sudden end seems almost inconceivable.

When saying good-bye, one experienced his relaxed and almost serene expression that, as always, both said much and kept much back, and his hands which still conveyed the steely power of his eurythmy.

Eurythmy as a cultural impulse

Born in Winterthur (CH) Christoph Graf studied music (flute) and found his way to eurythmy at an early age. Lea van der Pals was his teacher and his colleague on the Goetheanum Stage. She also brought him into the eurythmy training and, in 1986, she entrusted the responsibility for the eurythmy school to him, of which he was director until 2002. His style of teaching was inspiring and open. He always opened new doors, provoked questions and awakened enthusiasm in people to dotheir own research.

His amateur courses were so popular that he was asked for help by people whose circumstances did not allow them to undertake a full-time training and as a result he started a part-time training as early as 1987 – an innovativestep at that time.

His collaboration with, for instance, Georg Glöckler, Rudolf Kutzli and people with a background in dance and music led to public workshops that brought together lectures, courses and performances by the Aphaia Ensemble (DE). Christoph had a special connection with Ibrahim Abouleish, the founder of Sekem (EG), where he established, out of the situation he met there, eurythmy and a eurythmy training as a comprehensive cultural impulse.

Arabic culture

Many artistic performances resulted, in Arabic, such as Mozart’s Magic Flute, Goethe’s Faust Part 1 (abridged), Goethe’s Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, Rudolf Steiner’s Tale of the Rock Spring Wonder, Arabian folktales, and poems by Gibran, Rumi and other Arab poets. Christoph Graf firmly established eurythmy within the Arabic culture.

People there revered him too and were deeply touched by the news of his death. The eurythmist Martina Dinkel wrote, «We really have to see Christoph as a ‹father of eurythmy›. He was a bearer of eurythmy, a bearer of light: a true Christophorus.»

His commitment to eurythmy was a cultural deed and deeply permeated by anthroposophical impulses. He taught and toured with the Aphaia Ensemble in many countries and it was only in the last five years that he reduced his travel activities.

Christoph was devoted to his eleven grand-children and he played the harp. Right to the end he taught and inspired people for eurythmy. He leaves an enormous gap in our training centre, Eurythmeum CH, that he helped build up and that has more than fifty full-time students now.