Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Martha Graham

Today google celebrates the founder of contemporary dance, Martha Graham. As a person who loves dance and danced for over ten years, Martha has always been an inspiration to me. Like Margot Fonteyn or Baryshnikov, she was a living embodiment of the power of expression. Some of my most alive moments were found when wrapped up in the uncorrupted outlet of free movement. Today, prompted by the google doodle, I spent a few minutes researching and remembering her. And I found the following amazing quote, which I wanted to share. It perfectly describes how I used to feel about dance, and how I wish I could feel about anything these days:

"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 it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. 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 yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

Thank you, Martha, for your inspiration. I'll keep searching and keeping my heart open, listening for inspiration and the call to be an instrument.

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