40+ Best Martha Graham Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her style, the Graham technique, reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide. Inspirational Martha Graham quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

Famous Martha Graham Quotes

All things I do are in every woman. Every woman is Medea. Every woman is Jocasta. There comes a time when a woman is a mother to her husband. Clytemnestra is every woman when she kills. – Martha Graham

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

There is a vitality, a life force, 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 be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. – Martha Graham

Our arms start from the back because they were once wings. – Martha Graham

Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can. – Martha Graham

The body is a sacred garment. – Martha Graham

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 of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. – Martha Graham

The body says what words cannot. – Martha Graham

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

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. – Martha Graham

We are all of us, unique – each a unique pattern of creativity and if we do not fulfill it, it is lost for all time. – Martha Graham

The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor. – Martha Graham

No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time. – Martha Graham

Dance is the hidden language of the soul. – Martha Graham

Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery. – Martha Graham

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. – Martha Graham

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

I believe 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. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. 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. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

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. There is a great deal of outer space, distant from our daily lives, where I feel our imagination wanders sometimes. It will find a planet or it will not find a planet, and that is what a dancer does. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

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

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

Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other. There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

Dance is the hidden langauge of the soul, of the body. – Martha Graham

Freedom to a dancer means discipline. That is what technique is for — liberation. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

I feel that the essence of dance is the expression of man–the landscape of his soul. I hope that every dance I do reveals something of myself or some wonderful thing a human can be. – Martha Graham

The main thing, of course, always, is the fact that there is only one of you in the world, just one, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost. Ambition is not enough; necessity is everything. – Martha Graham

Misery is a communicable disease. – Martha Graham

In 1980. a well-meaning fundraiser came to see me and said, Miss Graham, the most powerful thing you have going for you to raise money is your respectability. – Martha Graham I wanted to spit. Respectable! Show me any artist who wants to be respectable. – Martha Graham

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. – Martha Graham

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

The secret to dancing is that it is about everything except dancing. – Martha Graham

I’m asked so often at ninety-six whether I believe in life after death. I do believe in the sanctity of life, the continuity of life and of energy. I know the anonymity of death has no appeal for me. It is the now that I must face and want to face. – Martha Graham

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