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George Balanchine Quotes



“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



”The mirror is not you.

The mirror is you looking at yourself.”

- 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



”The ballet is a purely female thing;

it is a woman, a garden of beautiful flowers,

and man is the gardener.”

- 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 is important and significant – yes.

But first of all, it is a pleasure.”

- 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 alonebut as a way of achieving

the means necessary to express

the pure nature of their art.”

- 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 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



"First comes the sweat.

Then comes the beauty if you're very lucky and have said your prayers."

- George Balanchine


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