Quotes by Isadora Duncan

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I intend to work for this dance of the future. I do not know whether I have the necessary qualities; I may have neither genius nor talent nor temperament. But I know that I have a Will; and will and energy sometimes prove greater than either genius or talent or temperament. more...

If we seek the real source of the dance, if we go to nature, we find that the dance of the future is the dance of the past, the dance of eternity, and has been and always will be the same... The movement of waves, of winds, of the earth is ever the same lasting harmony. more...

Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel, and to become one with the general harmony and movement of nature. Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child. more...

My art is just an effort to express the truth of my being in gesture and movement. It has taken me long years to find even one absolutely true movement. more...

The dancer of the future will be one whose body & soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of the soul will have become the movement of the body. more...

The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul. The true dance is an expression of serenity; it is controlled by the profound rhythm of inner emotion. Emotion does not reach the moment of frenzy out of a spurt of action; it broods first, it sleeps like the life in the seed, and it unfolds with a gentle slowness. The Greeks understood the continuing beauty of a movement that mounted, that spread, that ended with a promise of rebirth. more...

The only dance masters I could have were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Walt Whitman and Nietzsche. more...

When I was sixteen, I danced before an audience without music. At the end someone suddenly cried 'its Death and the Maiden'. But that was not my intention; I was only endeavoring to express my first knowledge of the underlying tragedy in all seemingly joyous manifestation. The dance according with my comprehension, should have been called 'Life and the Maiden'. more...

The artist is the only lover; he alone has the pure vision of beauty, and love is the vision of the soul when it is permitted to gaze upon immortal beauty. more...

Eleonora Duse said, "Tell me about Deirdre and Patrick," and made me repeat to her all their little sayings and ways, and show her their photos, which she kissed and cried over. She never said 'Cease to grieve', but she grieved with me, and, for the first time since their death, I felt I was not alone. more...

Farewell my friends, I go to glory. more...

I would rather live in Russia on black bread and vodka than in the United States at the best hotels. America knows nothing of food, love or art. more...

The wind? I am the wind. The sea and the moon? I am the sea and the moon. Tears, pain, love, bird-flights? I am all of them. I dance what I am. Sin, prayer, flight, the light that never was on land or sea? I dance what I am. more...

Others loved themselves, money, theories, power: Lenin loved his fellow men.... Lenin was God, as Christ was God, because God is Love and Christ and Lenin were all Love! more...

It is unheard-of, uncivilized barbarism that any woman should still be forced to bear such monstrous torture. It should be remedied. It should be stopped. It is simply absurd that, with our modern science, painless childbirth does not exist as a matter of course.... I tremble with indignation when I think ofthe unspeakable egotism and blindness of men of science who permit such atrocities when they can be remedied. more...

The dancer will not belong to any nation but to all humanity. more...

My first idea of movement, of the dance, certainly came from the rhythm of the wave. more...

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal living conditions on this earth? more...

Now I am going to reveal to you something which is very pure, a totally white thought. It is always in my heart; it blooms at each of my steps... The Dance is love, it is only love, it alone, and that is enough... I, then, it is amorously that I dance: to poems, to music but now I would like to no longer dance to anything but the rhythm of my soul. more...

Master technique, so that technique NEVER prevents you from dancing. more...

It is only in romances that people undergo a sudden metamorphosis. In real life, even after the most terrible experiences, the main character remains exactly the same. more...

Any woman or man who would write the truth of their lives would write a great work. But no one has dared to write the truth of their lives. more...

I have only danced my life. As a child I danced the spontaneous joy of growing things. As an adolescent, I danced with joy turning to apprehension of the first realisation of tragic undercurrents; apprehension of the pitiless brutality and crushing progress of life. more...

I hope that schools have changed since I was a little girl. My memory of the teaching of the public schools is that it showed the brutal incomprehension of children. more...

Many women to whom I have preached the doctrine of freedom have weakly replied, 'But who is to support the children?' It seems to me that if the marriage ceremony is needed as a protection to insure the enforced support of children, then you are marrying a man who, you suspect, would under certain conditions, refuse to support his children, and it is a pretty low-down proposition. For you are marrying a man whom you already suspect of being a villain. But I have not so poor an opinion of men that I believe the greater percentage of them to be such low specimens of humanity. more...

These people seemed so enwrapped in snobbishness and the glory of being rich that they had no art sense whatever. more...

For I was never able to understand, then or later on, why, if one wanted to do a thing, one should not do it. For I have never waited to do as I wished. This has frequently brought me to disaster and calamity, but at least I have the satisfaction of getting my own way. more...

No flower of art ever fully blossomed save it was nourished by tears of agony. more...

I do not teach children, I give them joy. more...

Dancing: The Highest Intelligence in the Freest Body. more...

A dancer, if she is great, can give to the people something that they can carry with them forever. They can never forget it, and it has changed them, though they may never know it. more...

There are likewise three kinds of dancers: first, those who consider dancing as a sort of gymnastic drill, made up of impersonal and graceful arabesques; second, those who, by concentrating their minds, lead the body into the rhythm of a desired emotion, expressing a remembered feeling or experience. And finally, there are those who convert the body into a luminous fluidity, surrendering it to the inspiration of the soul. more...

I am seeking that dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body's movement. more...

I have discovered the dance. I have discovered the art which has been lost for two thousand years more...

It is the mission of all art to express the highest and most beautiful ideals of man. more...

The Dance - it is the rhythm of all that dies in order to live again; it is the eternal rising of the sun. more...

To dance is to live. What I want is a school of life. more...

To express what is the most moral, healthful and beautiful in art this is the mission of the dancer, and to this I dedicate my life. more...

Man must speak, then sing, then dance. The speaking is the brain, the thinking man. The singing is the emotion. The dancing is the Dionysian ecstasy which carries away all. more...

If I could explain, I wouldn't need to dance! more...

America knows nothing of food, love, or art. more...

Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance, I reply, In my mother's womb, probably as a result of the oysters and champagne - the food of Aphrodite. more...

People do not live nowadays. They get about 10% out of life. more...

If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it more...

I see only the ideal. But no ideals have ever been fully successful on this earth. more...

The Dance of the Future will have to become again a high religious art as it was with the Greeks. For art which is not religious is not art, it is mere merchandise more...

All my life I have struggled to make one authentic gesture.... more...

To awaken human emotion is the highest level of art. more...

I had learned to have a perfect nausea for the theatre: the continual repetition of the same words and the same gestures, night after night, and the caprices, the way of looking at life, and the entire rigmarole disgusted me. more...

Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance, I reply 'In my mother's womb, probably as a result of the oysters and Champagne.' more...

I had discovered that love might be a pastime as well as a tragedy, and I gave myself to it with pagan innocence. more...

Virtuous people are simply those who have not been tempted sufficiently, because they live in a vegetative state, or because their purposes are so concentrated in one direction that they have not had the leisure to glance around them. more...

The noblest art is the nude. This truth is recognized by all, and followed by painters, sculptors and poets. Only the dancer has forgotten it, who should remember it, as the instrument of [the dance] art is the human body itself. more...

The whole world is absolutely brought up on lies. We are fed nothing but lies. It begins with lies and half our lives we live with lies. more...

The butcher with his bloody apron incites bloodshed, murder. Why not? From cutting the throat of a young calf to cutting the throats of our brothers and sisters is but a step. While we ourselves are living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth? more...

I preach freedom of the mind through freedom of the body; women, for example - out of the prison of corsets. more...

Will and energy sometimes prove greater than either genius or talent or temperament. more...

One might say that the American trend of education is to reduce the senses almost to nil. more...

I wonder how many parents realize that by the so-called education they are giving their children, they are only driving them into the commonplace, and depriving them of any chance of doing anything beautiful or original. more...

There are joys so complete, so all perfect, that one should not survive them. more...

Memories are less tangible than dreams. more...

No composer has yet caught this rhythm of America - it is too mighty for the ears of most. more...

I was born by the sea, and I have noticed that all the great events of my life have taken place by the sea. My first idea of movement, of the dance, certainly came from the rhythm of the waves. more...

Dance is the movement of the universe concentrated in an individual. more...

Movements are as eloquent as words. more...

Oh Woman, come before us, before our eyes longing for beauty, and tired of the ugliness of civilization, come in simple tunics, letting us see the line and harmony of the body beneath, and dance for us. Dance us the sweetness of life. Give us again the sweetness and the beauty of the true dance, give us again the joy of seeing the simple unconscious pure body of a woman. Like a great call it has come, and women must hear it and answer it. more...

My motto - sans limites. more...

You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you. more...

With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood. more...

So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world. more...

The real American type can never be a ballet dancer. The legs are too long, the body too supple and the spirit too free for this school of affected grace and toe walking. more...

The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul. more...

Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences. more...

The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet. more...

What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print. more...

Art is not necessary at all. All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live in is to love - to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved. more...

It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence. more...

Most human beings today waste some 25 to 30 years of their lives before they break through the actual and conventional lies which surround them. more...

Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad? more...

It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage. more...

The first essential in writing about anything is that the writer should have no experience of the matter. more...

People don't live nowadays: they get about ten percent out of life. more...

We may not all break the Ten Commandments, but we are certainly all capable of it. Within us lurks the breaker of all laws, ready to spring out at the first real opportunity. more...

So that ends my first experience of matrimony, which I always thought a highly over-rated performance. more...

Anybody can and should dance... It's good for the body and the spirit. more...

All my lovers have been geniuses; it's the one thing that I insist. more...

The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of her soul...This is the truly creative dancer, natural but not imitative, speaking in movement out of herself and out of something greater than all selves. more...

The movement of the waves, of winds, of the earth is ever in the same lasting harmony. We do not stand on the beach and inquire of the ocean what was its movement of the past and what will be its movement of the future. We realize that the movement peculiar to its nature is eternal to its nature. The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of the soul will have become the movement of the body more...

What I am interested in doing is finding and expressing a new form of life more...

If I could say it, I would not have to dance it. more...

I finally discovered the source of all movement, the unity from which all diversities of movement are born. more...

Farewell, my friends. I go to glory. more...

The butcher with his bloody apron incites bloodshed, murder. Why not? From cutting the throat of a young calf to cutting the throat of our brothers and sisters is but a step. While we are ourselves the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth? more...

I could have played the part of Saint Joan. I ought to have played it. I have the ample figure, the hardy physique of a farm-servant. Joan was a buxom creature. Yet she is always played by thin little actresses. more...

I could not adopt him so I married him. You know how wonderful he is, like all Russians. He starts reciting verse at two o'clock in the morning. more...

The dance of the future will have to become again a high religious art as it was with the Greeks. For art which is not religious is not art. It is mere merchandise. more...

Virtuous people are simply those who have... not been tempted sufficiently, because they live in a vegetative state, or because their purposes are so concentrated in one direction that they have not had the leisure to glance around them. more...

All my life I have struggled to make one authentic gesture. more...


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