Martha Graham quote

One of the actors at opening night of Rainbow Kiss gave everyone a bookmark with this quote. I thought it appropriate for anyone in the arts, not just performers.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and 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.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased.

There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

–Martha Graham (to Agnes DeMille), Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham

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8 thoughts on “Martha Graham quote”

  1. Conversely, it is possible to be entirely aware of the value and uniquity of oneself and one’s work, through innate sense and/or exterior validation …

    … and to withhold that work from the world, deliberately, as a penalty for the world’s abuse of oneself.

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