Isadora Duncan Quotes

Isadora Duncan (1877? or 1878 - 1927)

Isadora Duncan dancing with a scarf
Isadora Duncan circa 1918. Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Isadora Duncan was an American dancer who rejected classical ballet forms for more natural movements of interpretive dance, which later evolved into modern dance. Isadora Duncan first found fame in Europe which received her more readily. Isadora Duncan's personal life was also unconventional and scandalous, including a dramatic death.

Selected Isadora Duncan Quotations

  1. Adieu, mes amis. Je vais à la gloire. reported as her last words.
  2. My motto - sans limites.
  3. Dance is the movement of the universe concentrated in an individual.
  4. I have discovered the dance. I have discovered the art which has been lost for two thousand years.
  5. If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.
  6. The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul.
  7. What I am interested in doing is finding and expressing a new form of life.
  8. People do not live nowadays. They get about ten percent out of life.
  9. 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.
  10. I do not teach children, I give them joy.
  11. The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet.
  12. So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.
  13. 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.
  14. It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.
  19. So that ends my first experience with matrimony, which I always thought a highly overrated performance.
  20. 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.
  21. Good-bye, America, I shall never see you again! to reporters on leaving for Europe for the last time
  22. 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.
  23. You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you.