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Twyla Tharp's Quotes

Twyla Tharp profile photo

Born: 1941-07-01
Profession: Dancer
Nation: American
Biography of Twyla Tharp

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I don't think politicians should be allowed into power who are not familiar with their bodies, because that's where our bottom line is. And I know that they would make totally different decisions if they felt responsible simply for their own bodies.

Tags: Decisions, Felt, Power

I learned very early that an audience would relax and look at things differently if they felt they could laugh with you from time to time. There's an energy that comes through the release of tension that is laughter.

Tags: Laugh, Laughter, Time

I started formal piano training when I was 4. From there I had little violas, and I had dancing lessons of every sort and description, and painting lessons. I had German. And shorthand.

Tags: Painting, Started, Training

I thought I had to make an impact on history. I had to become the greatest choreographer of my time. That was my mission. Posterity deals with us however it sees fit. But I gave it 20 years of my best shot.

Tags: Best, History, Time

I would have to challenge the term, modern dance. I don't really use that term in relation to my work. I simply think of it as dancing. I think of it as moving.

Tags: Challenge, Moving, Work

In those days, male dancers were a rarer breed than women. as they are still today, A good male dancer, one as strong as we were, was very difficult to come by if you couldn't afford to pay them.

Tags: Good, Today, Women

It was not until I had graduated from college that I made a professional commitment to it. Frankly, I didn't think it wise. I was my own interior parental force, and it's very difficult to justify a profession as a dancer.

Tags: College, Difficult, Wise

My mother was a dominant force in my life. She had a very specific idea about education, which was: you should know everything about everything. It was quite simple. There was no exclusivity, and there really was no judgment.

Tags: Education, Life, Mother

My mother was the first woman in the county in Indiana where we were born, in Jay County, to have a college degree. She was educated as a pianist and she wanted to concertize, but when the war came she was married, had a family, so she started teaching.

Tags: Family, Mother, War

Playwrights have texts, composers have scores, painters and sculptors have the residue of those activities, and dance is traditionally an ephemeral, effervescent, here-today-gone-tomorrow kind of thing.

Tags: Activities, Dance, Painters

There's this expression called postmodernism, which is kind of silly, and destroys a perfectly good word called modern, which now no longer means anything.

Tags: Good, Means, Word

Well, Mozart is extraordinary not only in that he became virtuoso along the lines of his father, but that he had that compositional gift, that melodic gift. By the time he was four, he was doing piano concertos with harmony in the background.

Tags: Father, Gift, Time

What I do remember is visualization of the sound of music, seeing bodies in movement in relation to how music sounded, because my mother practiced at the keyboard a lot and I also went to her lessons. As a two year old, three year old I remember seeing things in movement.

Tags: Mother, Music, Remember

With each piece I've completed I have worked to make it intact, and each of them has been an equal high. It's like children. A mother refuses to pick out one as a favorite, and I can't do any better with the dances.

Tags: Children, High, Mother

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Tags: Art, Home, Leaving

Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.

Tags: Experience, Old, Optimism

A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet. I'm beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things.

Tags: Beginning, Between, Dance

I often say that in making dances I can make a world where I think things are done morally, done democratically, done honestly.

Tags: Done, Making, Often

Dance has never been a particularly easy life, and everybody knows that.

Tags: Dance, Easy, Life

I think people want very much to simplify their lives enough so that they can control the things that make it possible to sleep at night.

Tags: Control, Night, Sleep

I think that anyone who's pushed to do the very best that they can is privileged. It's a luxury.

Tags: Anyone, Best, Luxury

It is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience.

Tags: Arrogant, Audience, Foolish

Any comic is a tragic soul. Comedy is one of the things that allows one to survive. Particularly if one has been in the process of separating off the emotions, it's one place you can process them.

Tags: Off, Place, Soul

I have the wherewithal to challenge myself for my entire life. That's a great gift.

Tags: Challenge, Great, Life

I work because I have issues and questions and feelings and thoughts that I want to have a look at. I'm not in need of, or wanting, particularly, to know what other folk are up to.

Tags: Feelings, Thoughts, Work

In terms of individuals who actually inspired me, very few of the academic people that I had access to had that power over me. Maybe it's simply because I wasn't that committed to geometry.

Tags: Few, Inspired, Power
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Much more quotes by Twyla Tharp below the page.

Art is an investigation.

Tags: Art

I don't mean this, but I'm going to say it anyway. I don't really think of pop art and serious art as being that far apart.

Tags: Art, Mean, Serious

I have not wanted to intimidate audiences. I have not wanted my dancing to be an elitist form. That doesn't mean I haven't wanted it to be excellent.

Tags: Excellent, Mean, Wanted

I never studied with Balanchine, but his work was very important to me.

Tags: Studied, Work

I was privileged to be able to study a year with Martha Graham, the last year she was teaching.

Tags: Able, Last, Study

I'm a known reader. That's what I do with my time.

Tags: Known, Reader, Time

I'm not one who divides music, dance or art into various categories. Either something works, or it doesn't.

Tags: Art, Dance, Music

Judgment is not my business. Existing is my business.

Tags: Business, Existing, Judgment

The formal education that I received made little sense to me.

Tags: Education, Formal, Sense

The only thing I fear more than change is no change. The business of being static makes me nuts.

Tags: Business, Change, Fear

The rewards of dancing are very different from choreographing.

Tags: Dancing, Rewards

I am fairly concise when I work and I work quickly because I think work is done better in a high gear than done our in a gear when everyone's exhausted. Get focused, do it!

Tags: Done, Everyone, Work

The necessity to constantly turn in an excellent performance, to be absolutely wedded to this dedication and this ideal means that as a child you're going to pay for it personally.

Tags: Child, Means, Turn
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