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Isadora Duncan

  • You were wild once. Don't let them tame you!

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • curtain speech ()
  • So that ends my first experience with matrimony, which I always thought a highly over-rated performance.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • in The New York Times ()
  • Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.

  • Memories are less tangible than dreams.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ... I have only danced my life.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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

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

  • ... a woman who has known but one man is like a person who has heard only one composer.

  • People do not live nowadays — they get about ten percent out of life.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • "Memoirs," in This Quarter ()
  • So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • "Memoirs," in This Quarter ()
  • All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live is to love — to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • "Memoirs," in This Quarter ()
  • The whole world is absolutely brought up on lies. We are fed nothing but lies. We begin with lies, and half our lives we live with lies. Most human beings waste some twenty-five to thirty years of their lives before they break through the actual and conventional lies which surround them.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • "Memoirs," in This Quarter ()
  • Farewell, my friends, I go to glory.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • last words, in Mary Desti, Isadora Duncan's End ()
  • My motto — sans limites.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • in Irma Duncan and Allan Ross Macdougall, Isadora Duncan's Russian Days and Her Last Years in France ()
  • America ... you know nothing of food, love or art.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • interview (1922), in Irma Duncan and Allan Ross Macdougall, Isadora Duncan's Russian Days and Her Last Years in France ()
  • 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?

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • in Carol Adams, "The Inedible Complex: The Political Implications of Vegetarianism," Second Wave ()
  • All my life I have struggled to make one authentic gesture.

    • Isadora Duncan
  • I do not teach children, I give them joy.

    • Isadora Duncan
  • If I could say it, I wouldn't have to dance it.

    • Isadora Duncan
  • I preach freedom of the mind through freedom of the body; women, for example — out of the prison of corsets.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • 1922, in Louise Bernikow, The American Women's Almanac ()
  • Perhaps in some cases the father, in his youth, was fit to be a father. But in his knock-kneed fifties, he is too hard headed for anything spiritual to spring from him. Then let his wife rotate the children crop just as sensible farmers rotate the crop of potatoes. Let her look about for a young father, fit to be perpetuated in a child. After all, I should think the baby crop is quite as important as the potato crop.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • 1923, in Louise Bernikow, The American Women's Almanac ()
  • Will and energy sometimes prove greater than either genius or talent or temperament.

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • in Theatre Arts ()

Isadora Duncan, U.S. dancer

(1878 - 1927)

Real name: Dora Angela Duncan.