George Balanchine Quotes

The best quotes by the famous choreographer


Dance is music made visible.
George Balanchine

I don't want dancers who want to dance. I want dancers who have to dance.
George Balanchine

Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays.
George Balanchine

One is born to be a dancer. No teacher can work miracles, nor will years of training make a good dancer of an untalented pupil. One may be able to acquire a certain technical facility, but no one can ever 'acquire an exceptional talent.' I have never prided myself on having an unusually gifted pupil. A Pavlova is no one's pupil but God's.
George Balanchine

First comes the sweat. Then comes the beauty if you're very lucky and have said your prayers.
George Balanchine

God creates, I do not create. I assemble and I steal everywhere to do it – from what I see, from what the dancers can do, from what others do...
George Balanchine

Ballet dancing is arduous, strenuous activity. Students are engaged in physical training that rivals the training Olympic athletes undergo. At the same time, they strive for physical perfection not for the prowess alone but as a way of achieving the means necessary to express the pure nature of their art.
George Balanchine

Do you want to be a poet of gesture or do you want to be a physical entity? 
George Balanchine

Ballet is important and significant – yes. But first of all, it is a pleasure.
George Balanchine

Choreography is simpler than you think. Just go and do, and don't think so much about it. Just make something interesting.
George Balanchine

It's like the time capsule with everything in it. Or like the seed that when you plant it, becomes the enormous tree with leaves and fruit. Everybody was in that little seed, and so everything can open. The tree of dance is like that. It just takes a long, long time to blossom.
George Balanchine

The ballet is a purely female thing; it is a woman, a garden of beautiful flowers, and man is the gardener.
George Balanchine

The choreographer and the dancer must remember that they reach the audience through the eye. It's the illusion created which convinces the audience, much as it is with the work of a magician.
George Balanchine

The mirror is not you. The mirror is you looking at yourself.
George Balanchine