Performance Quotes

What it means to dance on stage...

For a dancer, to be able to perform well, most of his waking hours must be devoted to preparing for the holy white instant of performance.
Paul Taylor

It's extremely arrogant and foolish to think you can ever outwit your audience.
Twyla Tharp

Long experience has taught me that the crux of my fortunes is whether I can radiate good will toward my audience. There is only one way to do it and that is to feel it. You can fool the eyes and minds of the audience, but you cannot fool their hearts.
Howard Thurston

You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams.  And I know if I can make you smile by jumping over a couple of couches or running through a rainstorm, then I’ll be very glad to be a song and dance man.
Gene Kelly

The dance is over, the applause subsided but the joy and feeling will stay with you forever.
W. M. Tory

Dance from your heart and love your music and the audience will love you in return.
Marie Tallchief

A dance legacy must be performed in order to be preserved.
Ann Daly

Don’t dance for the audience; dance for yourself.
Bob Fosse

It always takes two. There’s the speaker and the listener, you and the audience.  You’ve worked long hours and it comes down to that moment, that performance. The goal isn’t just to improve yourself, but to transport people.
Gillian Murphy

Do it big, do it right and do it with style.
Fred Astaire

One's concentration as a performer must remain centered on the action of which one is a part. For it is in truth only one's own concentration on the imagined reality of the role that can force the audience's attention to that same place.

Striving for a connection with the audience is essential because you are in the moment it is a give and take relationship. Catching someone's eye during a performance makes it more special.
Aubrey Lynch

You can’t expect the audience to give you its attention.  You have to grab it.
Author Unknown

After I perform, I hope the audience is excited, inspired, and taken away from their everyday grind or work. Perhaps even inspired enough to get up and dance themselves.
Lenore Pavlakos

Dance is like wine it matures with every performance.
Alarmel Valli

When you are on stage you don’t see faces.  The lights are in your eyes and you see just this black void out in front of you.  And yet you know there is life out there, and you have to get your message across.
Suzanne Farrell

Seen from the wings, a ballerina's life is made-up of sheer physical misery relieved only by the euphoria of performance. Physical agony is a normal thing backstage and arouses the awe and pity only of outsiders unused to its sight.
Author Unknown

Then come the lights shining on you from above. You are a performer. You forget all you learned, the process of technique, the fear, the pain, you even forget who you are you become one with the music, the lights, indeed one with the dance.
Shirley Maclaine

Dance every performance as if it were your last.
Erik Bruhn

When you are on stage you are having an affair with three thousand people.
Gelsey Kirkland

It doesn't matter where you are on the stage, just as long as you're there.
Author Unknown

Even today when I rehearse, I give it everything that I’ve got.  If I’m in a performance and the lights go out, I glow in the dark.  When you’re working before an audience, you have to make them feel like they can touch you.  That’s the dancer within, reaching out.
Mitzi Gaynor

The world on stage is a fairy-tale world. You end an evening enveloped in the applause from the audience. But outside the theater, you are back into reality, and when you come home you realize that you are just an ordinary person like everybody else.
Author Unknown

There comes a moment in a young artist's life when he knows he has to bring something to the stage from within himself. He has to put in something in order to be able to take something.
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Practice like you’ve never won. Perform like you’ve never lost.
Author Unknown

I just know that when I go on stage, I give everything I have, not only my legs, not only my feet, not only my body. I try to tell a story. Sometimes I'm able to cry because I feel like it. Sometimes I'm able to love because I feel like it.
Sylvie Guillem

Dancers work and live from the inside. They drive themselves constantly producing a glow that lights not only themselves but audience after audience.
Murray Louis

Glorious bouquets and storms of applause are the trimmings which every artist naturally enjoys. But to move an audience in such a role, to hear in the applause that unmistakable note which breaks through good theatre manners and comes from the heart, is to feel that you have won through to life itself. Such pleasure does not vanish with the fall of the curtain, but becomes part of one's own life.
Dame Alice Markova

Dancing should look easy; like an optical illusion. It should seem effortless. When you do a difficult variation, the audience is aware that it is demanding and that you have the power and strength to do it. But in the end, when you take your bow, you should look as if you were saying, ‘Oh, it was nothing. I could do it again.’
Bruce Marks

People in the audience, when they've watched the dance, should feel like they've accomplished something, that they've gone on a journey.
Paul Mercurio

It is a temptation to exploit one's technique because an audience is easily reached this way, but they cannot be moved by technique alone and to move an audience is the role of dance as an art.
Alla Ossipenko

Bravura has nothing to do with technique.  It’s all about timing and oozing life.
Kevin McKenzie

When it comes to the requirements for pleasing an audience, all the knowledge and instruction and apparatus in the world is worth less than one ounce of soul.
Ottawa Keyes

The dancer, or dancers, must transform the stage for the audience as well as for themselves into an autonomous, complete, virtual realm, and all motions into a play of visible forces in unbroken, virtual time... Both space and time, as perceptible factors, disappear almost entirely in the dance illusion.
Susanne K. Langer