Martha Graham Quotes

Dance With the Stars With These Martha Graham Quotes

She danced as if nobody was watching. Martha Graham danced to evoke strong emotion in her audience. She danced into the hearts of millions of fans around the world. She taught the world to communicate using body movements. Martha Graham, famous American dancer, changed the definition of modern dancing. Her dance style was unique with a blend of spasmodic motions and pronounced expressions. She brought about a dance renaissance with powerful visuals and dramatic movements.
Her dance was a medium to bring about social change, by moving the audience from its apathetic stupor.

Martha Graham was in the profession of dancing for over seventy years. She devoted her entire life to fine-tuning her art. She won accolades and prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Martha Graham remained true to her profession throughout her life. She danced, choreographed, and taught many aspiring dancers. These Martha Graham quotes give us an insight into her life.
  • Looking at the past is like lolling in a rocking chair. It is so relaxing and you can rock back and forth on the porch, and never go forward.

  • In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength.

  • 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.

  • My dancing is not an attempt to interpret life in the literary sense. It is an affirmation of life through movement.

  • 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.

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

  • Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.

  • Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.

  • 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.

  • Age is the acceptance of a term of years. But maturity is the glory of years.

  • Censorship is the height of vanity.

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

  • No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

  • Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.

  • The only sin is mediocrity.

  • Dance is communication, and so the great challenge is to speak clearly, beautifully, and with inevitability.

  • Fire is the test of gold... adversity, of strong men.

  • 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.

  • Theater is a verb before it is a noun, an act before it is a place.

  • There is a fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration; there are daily small deaths.

  • 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. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.

  • Nothing is more revealing than movement.

  • People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life.

  • 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.

  • You can be Eastern or Burmese or what have you, but the function of the body and the awareness of the body results in dance and you become a dancer, not just a human being.

  • The center of the stage is where I am.

  • 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.

  • No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times.

  • The body is your instrument in dance, but your art is outside that creature, the body.

  • 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 shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted. The body is a sacred garment. The body says what words cannot.

  • 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.

  • Think of the magic of the foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It's a miracle and the dance is a celebration of that miracle.

  • That is what technique is for -- liberation.

  • You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.