Martha Graham Quotes

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

Censorship is the height of vanity.

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

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

Dancers are the messengers of the gods.

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.

Dancing is very like poetry.

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

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

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 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.

I feel that the essence of dance is the expression of mankind – the landscape of the human soul.

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

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.

Learn by practice.

Misery is a communicable disease.

Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather.

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

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.

The body is a sacred garment.

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

The body never lies.

The body says what words cannot.

The only sin is mediocrity.

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.

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

To me, 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.

We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.