GURDJIEFF HERITAGE SOCIETY FURTHER
This is a unique aspect of the Work that has been
almost forgotten in the last forty or so years.
As Mme. de Salzmann undoubtedly foresaw when she so
strongly encouraged the idea of this project in the
early Sixties, the time and effort we spent on it gave
us many lasting and profound impressions.
For years all the New York groups worked together with
dedication in a sincere attempt to recreate as
authentically as possible the music, dance, food and
atmosphere that surrounded Mr. Gurdjieff in his youth.
In November of 1963 a spacious hotel ballroom in
midtown Manhattan was rented as the venue for a large
public presentation and - President Kennedy was
assassinated - and everything had to be cancelled!
But preparations for “The Street” during those years
brought together members of all the differing groups,
including the children, and made for a warm unity in
the Work. Gathering for much careful planning and
active international research also generated
meaningful outreaches to many of the ethnic
communities in the New York area and overseas with
resulting fruitful contacts and lasting friendships.
Our musicians obtained exotic traditional near-eastern
instruments and sought out Turkish, Armenian and Arab
masters to teach them their use. Months of rehearsals
prepared us for high quality performances of choral,
orchestral and dance events while busy crews
ambitiously mastered costume making, arts and crafts
and large quantity food preparation. Also tackled were
new skills in publicity, public relations, commercial
and financial negotiations.
For the first time some of us began to wake up to how
little we really knew about Mr. Gurdjieff’s roots and
homeland, his early years, his Greek Orthodox family
background, their traditions of patriarchal
hospitality and so on. We began to better appreciate
his music, the meaning and origin of his Movements and
to be more open to the subtleties of his humor and use
Yes, the Oriental Street would certainly have been a
fantastic fund raiser, but just preparing for it was
deeply inspiring and instructive - and even - perish
the thought - a Work event that was great fun!
Some of us valued and preserved much of the material
that was gathered back then and it is still lovingly
preserved in our archives - and in our aging memories.
Surely it would be a shame if it weren’t shared and
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Gurdjieff International Review comments on GEORGE
GURDJIEFF: A Documentary Film
In the Spring 2001 Issue, Vol. IV No. 2.
(This Unique 1976 French TV Documentary, was finally
re-located as a
project of The Gurdjieff Heritage Society, was preserved, and the Society
arranged for the translation to English and the text
Georges Gurdjieff: A French
first English text of a 1976 French language
documentary film—produced by Jean-Claude
Lubtchansky—on the life and teachings of G. I.
Gurdjieff. Narrated by Pierre Schaeffer and
interspersed with interviews of Michel de Salzmann,
René Zuber, Philippe Lavastine, Maurice Desselle,
Henri Tracol, and Jean Vaysse, each of whom knew
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Recently, we were shocked to
discover that, although the new edition of the
Gurdjieff Annotated Bibliography listed
approximately 3000 "Gurdjieff" books and articles
currently available, the entire New York Public
Library system contained only 61 examples, (even
omitting "All and Everything"). We felt this was
something we could do something about.
We are now working with the
central research section of the NYPL to set up a
special Gurdjieff Division. Randy Berenek and his
recent successor John Bacon (Directors of "Planned
Giving") with Beth Diefendorf ("Chief of Research
Departments") have agreed to evaluate, coordinate and
redirect materials as we provide them to appropriate
departments such as Research, Dance, Music, and
In addition, more books related to the Gurdjieff Work
will become available in research division of the New
York Public Library. We should remember that Mr.
Gurdjieff wrote to us all: "I intend that the first
series of my writings shall be made freely available
without payment to all who are in need of their help."
(Circular Letter, January 13, 1949).
For UPDATES regarding the Library Project, as continued after the
death of Dushka Howarth in 2010, see the "News"
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