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Martha Graham Quotes


 


 

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique,

they are great because of their passion.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

“To learn to dance by practicing dancing

or to learn to live by practicing living,

the principles are the same."


- Martha Graham

 

 

“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled,

then something has been lost.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 ”The body says what words cannot.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”It's what I always wanted to do:

to show the laughter, the fun – the joy of dance.”


- Martha Graham  

 

 

”Wherever a dancer stands is holy ground.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Movement never lies.

It is a barometer telling the state of the

soul's weather to all who can read it.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Some men have thousands of reasons why

they cannot do what they want to,

when all they need is one reason why they can.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Dance is communication, and so the great challenge

is to speak clearly, beautifully, and with inevitability.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 

”Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”First we have to believe, and then we believe.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Freedom to a dancer means discipline.

That is what technique is for – liberation.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”You see, when weaving a blanket,

an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket

to let the soul out.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

"No artist is ahead of his time.

He is time; the others are just behind the times."


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

“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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things

as the miracle of the small beautiful bones

 and their delicate strength.” 


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 

”Dancers today can do anything; the technique is phenomenal.

The passion and the meaning to their movement

can be another thing.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Every dance is kind of a fever chart, a graph of the heart.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”If I can't dance,

I don't care if my dances are ever done again!”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Learn by practice.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”My dancing is not an attempt to interpret life

in the literary sense.

It is an affirmation of life through movement.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Nothing is more revealing than movement.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”The body is a sacred garment.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”Theater is a verb before it is a noun...”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”The spine is the tree of life.  Respect it.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”The world I'm interested in is the one

where things are not named.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

“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.”


- Martha Graham

 

 

”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.” 


- Martha Graham

 

go to >> George Balanchine Quotes

 

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