Martha Graham Quotes
The body says what words cannot.
It's what I always wanted to do: to show the laughter, the fun – the joy of dance.
No artist is ahead of his time. He is time; the others are just behind the times.
Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other. There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths.
Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it.
I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living.... In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.
The next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist. It is a miracle. And the dance is a celebration of that miracle.
In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength.
A building – if it's beautiful – is the love of one man, he's made it out of his love for space, materials, things like that.
A dancer, more than any other human being, dies two deaths: the first, the physical when the powerfully trained body will no longer respond as you would wish. After all, I choreographed for myself. I never choreographed what I could not do. I changed steps in Medea and other ballets to accommodate the change. But I knew. And it haunted me. I only wanted to dance.
A dancer must listen to his body and pay homage to it. Behind the movement lies this terrible, driving passion, this necessity. I won't settle for anything less.
Dance is communication, and so the great challenge is to speak clearly, beautifully, and with inevitability.
Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
Dancers today can do anything; the technique is phenomenal. The passion and the meaning to their movement can be another thing.
Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.
Every dance is kind of a fever chart, a graph of the heart.
Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.
First we have to believe, and then we believe.
Freedom to a dancer means discipline. That is what technique is for – liberation.
Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
I did not want to be a tree, a flower or a wave. In a dancer's body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behavior of everyday actions, not the phenomenon of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being.
If I can't dance, I don't care if my dances are ever done again!
It is difficult to see the great dance effects as they happen, to see them accurately, catch them fast in memory. It is even more difficult to verbalize them for critical discussion. The particular essence of a performance, its human sweep of articulate rhythm in space and in time has no specific terminology to describe it by.
It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.
Learn by practice.
Movement never lies: it is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it.
My dancing is not an attempt to interpret life in the literary sense. It is an affirmation of life through movement.
Nothing is more revealing than movement.
Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.
The body is a sacred garment.
Theater is a verb before it is a noun...
The spine is the tree of life. Respect it.
The world I'm interested in is the one where things are not named.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
Think of the magic of that foot... upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle and the dance...is a celebration of that miracle.
To learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same.
To me, this acquirement of nervous, physical, and emotional concentration is the one element possessed to the highest degree by the truly great dancers of the world. Its acquirement is the result of discipline, of energy in the deep sense. That is why there are so few great dancers.
We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
Wherever a dancer stands is holy ground.
You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.
You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.
Dancing is a very living art. It is essentially of the moment, although a very old art. A dancer’s art is lived while he is dancing. Nothing is left of his art except the pictures and the memories--when his dancing days are over.