I HAVE DISCOVERED THE DANCE
“I have discovered the dance. I have discovered the art which has been lost for two thousand years. … I bring you the idea that is going to revolutionize our entire epoch."
"I am asked to speak upon the `Dance of the Future'—yet how is it possible? In fifty years I may have something to say. Besides, I have always found it indiscreet for me to speak of my dance. The people who are in sympathy with me understand what I am trying to do better than myself, the people who are not in sympathy, understand better than I why they are not."
"I had three great Masters, the three great precursors of the Dance in our century—Beethoven, Nietzsche and Wagner. Beethoven created the dance in mighty rhythm. Wagner in sculptural form. Nietzsche in spirit. Nietzsche was the first dancing philosopher."
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE: "The world itself is the will to power—and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power—and nothing else!"
"Raise your hearts, my brethren, high, higher, and forget not your legs! Moreover it is better still if ye stand on your heads. ... And be that day reckoned lost on which we did not dance once."
"For others do I wait ... for higher ones, stronger ones, more triumphant ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul: laughing lions must come."
In the Theatre of Dionysus, Athens (Raymond Duncan)
"I was possessed by the dream of Promethean creation that, at my call, there might spring from the Earth, descend from the Heavens, such dancing figures as the world had never seen."
LINCOLN KIRSTEIN: "Her dances were hymns to freedom -- of sensibility, of passion, of the transcendentally convinced and convincing Emersonian soul.... Today it is hard to picture convincing interpretations of Joy, Hope, Immortality, the Soul. But at the turn of the century an American girl, incarnating these and more, coincided with historical promise."
THE NEW REPUBLIC (1928): "‘A book separate,’ this Life of Isadora Duncan, a book, as Whitman said of Leaves of Grass, ‘not to be linked with the rest nor felt by the intellect.’"
WALT WHITMAN: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself / And what I assume you shall assume / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
"I see America dancing, beautiful, strong, with one foot poised on the highest point of the Rockies, her two hands stretched out from the Atlantic to the Pacific, her fine head tossed to the sky, her forehead shining with a crown of a million stars."
San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum