Thursday, July 18, 2024 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Isadora Duncan

« All quotes from this author

I shall never forget the first time I saw her come on to an empty platform to dance. Ö She came through some little curtains which were not much taller than herself ó she came through and walked down to where a musician, his back to us, was seated at a large piano ó he had just finished playing a short prelude by Chopin when in she came, and in some five or six steps was standing at the piano, quite still ó you might have counted five or eight, and then there sounded the voice of Chopin in a second prelude or etude ó it was played through gently and came to an end ó she had not moved at all. Then one step back or sideways, and the music began again as she went moving on before, or after it. Only just moving ó not pirouetting or doing any of the things which a Taglioni or a Fanny Elssler would have certainly done. She was speaking her own language, not echoing any ballet master, and so she came to move as no one had ever seen anyone move before.
The dance ended, she again stood quite still. No bowing, no smiling ó nothing at all. Then again the music is off, and she runs from it ó it runs after her ó for she has gone ahead of it.
How is it that we know she is speaking her own language? We know it, for we see her head, her hands, gently active, as are her feet, her whole person. And if she is speaking, what is it she is saying? No one would ever be able to report truly, yet no one present had a moment's doubt. Only this can we say ó that she was telling to the air the very things we long to hear; and now we heard them, and this sent us all into an unusual state of joy, and I sat still and speechless.
Edward Gordon Craig, memoir on first encountering Duncan in 1904, published in Index to The Story of My Days : Some Memoirs of Edward Gordon Craig, 1872-1907 (1957)

Isadora Duncan

» Isadora Duncan - all quotes »

Tags: Isadora Duncan Quotes, Authors starting by D

Similar quotes


Attending this new version, I felt oddly as if I were watching a provincial stock company doing the best it could without the Broadway cast. I was reminded of the child prodigy who was summoned to perform for a famous pianist. The child climbed onto the piano stool and played something by Chopin with great speed and accuracy. The great musician then patted the child on the head and said, 'You can play the notes. Someday, you may be able to play the music.'

Roger Ebert

We've got to take the neighborhood back. We've got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It's right around the corner. It's standing on the corner. It can't speak English. It doesn't want to speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk. "Why you ain't where you is go." I don't know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. Then I heard the father talk. This is all in the house. You used to talk a certain way on the corner and you got into the house and switched to English. Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't land a plane with "why you ain'tÖ". You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. There is no Bible that has that kind of language. Where did these people get the idea that they're moving ahead on this? Well, they know they're not, they're just hanging out in the same place, five or six generations sitting in the projects when you're just supposed to stay there long enough to get a job and move out.

Bill Cosby

There isnít anything weird about my music. Weird is a skeleton in the closet, wearing a rubber mask with warts all over its nose, and all that kind of shit. Thatís not what I do. The thing that makes my music unusual is that people only hear one kind of music all the time over the radio. Itís wallpaper to their lives. Audile wallpaper. Thereís one acceptable beat and there are three acceptable chord progressions. There are five acceptable words: baby, love, tears, yat yat. Just because I donít deal in those terms doesnít mean Iím weird. So tell these people: I ainít weird; Iím rational. Iím a person who can choose to write stuff like that, or choose to write stuff that includes all the notes on the piano played at once, followed by a cement truck driving over the piano, followed by a small atomic explosion. Nothing weird about that as long as you do it in a meaningful way.

Frank Zappa

Faith reads the understanding only as a dark saying; humanly speaking, it does not have the explanation, only in a certain deranged sense, so that, humanly speaking, it is the most foolish business arrangement ever made in the world. But this is the way it is supposed to be, and God in heaven is still unembarrassed; he is not selling out, whatever human beings do. And he is indeed unchanging, as the understanding says in order to mock the troubled one who cries out to God; but see, its mockery recoils on itself, because God truly is unchanged. He has not become a friend of cowardliness and softness; he has not become so debilitated over the years that he cannot distinguish between mine and thine and everything runs together before him; he is himself still the first inventor of language and the only one who holds the blessing in his hands; he is unchanged, even though he would not be able to satisfy the demands of the times! So it is with faith-humanly speaking, it is the most foolish and, humanly speaking, the most difficult business arrangement.

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

Chopin has done for the piano what Schubert has done for the voice.

Frederic Chopin
© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact