38 Famous Martha Graham Quotes

38 Famous Martha Graham Quotes

by / Comments Off / 3412 View / Nov 24, 2014

Martha Graham was a dancer and choreographer from Pittsburgh. Her influence on modern dance is immeasurable and compared to Picasso’s influence on visual arts. She was the very first dancer to ever perform at the White House. She died in 1991 at the age of 96.

“Age’ is the acceptance of a term of years. But maturity is the glory of years.”

“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”

“Dance is a song of the body. Either of joy or pain.”

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul, of the body.”

“Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other.”

“Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery — what it all means…”

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

“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.”

“I am absorbed in the magic of movement and light. Movement never lies. It is the magic of what I call the outer space of the imagination.”

“I believe that dance was the first art. A philosopher has said that dance and architecture were the first arts. I believe that dance was first because it’s gesture, it’s communication. That doesn’t mean it’s telling a story, but it means it’s communicating a feeling, a sensation to people.”

“I believe that we learn by practice.”

“I don’t try to tell the dancers exactly what a dance means before they do it.”

“I feel that the essence of dance is the expression of mankind — the landscape of the human soul.”

“I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.”

“I love words very much. I’ve always loved to talk, and I’ve always love words — the words that rest in your mouth, what words mean and how you taste them and so on. And for me the spoken word can be used almost as a gesture.”

“I think comedy is the most difficult thing in the world, I really do.”

“I think the reason dance has held such an ageless magic for the world is that it has been the symbol of the performance of living.”

“I use the words gods and goddesses principally, I think, to mean beautiful bodies — bodies that are absolute instruments. And I believe in discipline, I believe in a very definite technique.”

“You have no right to go before a public without an adequate technique, just because you feel. Anything feels — a leaf feels, a storm feels — what right have you to do that? You have to have speech, and it’s a cultivated speech.”

“No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time.”

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

“One can always lament, you know — but to laugh in the face of life, that’s very hard. And for me the great tragedian should also be a great comedian.”

“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.”

“The body is a sacred garment.”

“The body is a sacred garment: it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour, and with joy and with fear as well. But always, though, with

“The center of the stage is where I am.”

“The only sin is mediocrity.”

“The unique must be fulfilled.”

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

“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.”

“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 it will be lost.”

“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.”

“To me, the body says what words cannot.”

“To me, the only sin is mediocrity.”

“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.”

“What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.”

“When you start with an idea, or something hits you, then you have to follow that through to the end, and it’s the following through to the end that makes the pattern. That, for me, is choreography.”