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Dance Quotes

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#1 Guest_Azza_4eva_*

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Posted 29 September 2001 - 05:48 AM

I was inspired by the jokes post, to query after anyone who knew of any quotes on dance. I run a webpage on quotes and one of the sections is on dance (naturally) and i was looking to add to my collection. Any suggestions?

#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 29 September 2001 - 08:52 AM

well there's my old favorites:
"True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance."
- Alexander Pope

"Toe dancing is a dandy attention-getter, second only to screaming."
- Agnes de Mille

#3 Ed Waffle

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Posted 29 September 2001 - 02:20 PM

A few from the world of opera:

Why are tenors always standing on the doorstep?

They can’t find the key and don’t know when to come in.

How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

None--she has her accompanist do it.

How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one—she holds the bulb and the world revolves around her.

How many mezzos does it take to change a light bulb?

Five—one to stand on a chair and screw it in, four to ask “Isn’t that a bit high for you, dear?”

Why are soprano jokes always one-liners?

So that tenors can understand them.

#4 Giannina


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Posted 29 September 2001 - 04:32 PM

Oh, Lordy, Ed; that last one is a classic!


#5 Richard Jones

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 05:53 PM

In late 18th century England there was a great increase in the number of small boarding schools for girls, which carried over into the 19th century. The pupils at these schools were expected to be instructed in accomplishments such as music, dancing, drawing and needlework. Mr Darcy in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ expected all of these and more – “a thorough knowledge of the modern languages and something more substantial in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading”....Not everybody approved of this new tendency, however. For instance, Hannah More (1745-1833), the writer of religious tracts and stories who set up Sunday Schools, etc, declared that “this frenzy of accomplishments is no longer restricted within the usual limits of rank and fortune; the middle orders have caught the contagion”.

Here is a verse from the period from the point of view of those who thought that families that had previously done without these refinements didn’t need them!

“The farmers’ daughters formerly were learnt to card and spin,
And, by their own industry, good husbands did they win;
But now the card and spinning-wheel are forced to take their chance,
While they’re hopped off to a boarding-school to learn to sing and dance.”

Unfortunately I don’t know the author, but this verse is quoted in a history of the part of East Anglia I come from; the book was researched and written by one of my English teachers at school. At one of the small local schools mentioned in the book, one of the dancing masters is listed as Monsieur Noverre. A branch of the Noverre family was established in Norwich, Norfolk, by Augustin Noverre, brother of the great Jean Georges Noverre. The family established a dancing school in Norwich, and travelled to small towns in Norfolk and Suffolk for the same purpose; peripatetic dancing teachers! It is said that, in Norfolk, this verse was common at the time:

“Mr Noverre has come from France to teach the natives how to dance!”

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 09:26 PM

In America, this tendency toward accomplishment in social graces was also noted by Mrs. Child (Maria, not Julia), who wrote a great many books for women about how to "work smarter, not harder" and thus free up more time for self-improvement. Not everyone was impressed with this quest for the genteel, as John Adams once wrote his wife, Abigail, "I see that Mr. Cranch (his brother-in-law and Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and family have retained the services of a dancing-master. This is to be much regretted, as I have never known a really good dancer who was ever good for anything else(!)"

Tell THAT to the people at Dancer Career Transition! ;)

#7 Guest_ballerinaDEDG_*

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Posted 14 October 2001 - 09:13 PM

Here are some of my favorite quotes: :)

"Then come the lights shining on you from above. You are a performer. You forget all you learned, the process of technique, the fear, the pain, you even forget who you are. You become one with the music, the light, indeed one with the dance."-- Shirley Maclaine

"Music is a moral law- it gives wings to the mind, a soul to the universe, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, a life to everything." -- Plato

"I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words."-- Ruth St. Denis

"To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more powerful, more beautiful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking."--Agnes De Mille

Sorry...I had to throw a music one in there. We do have to dance to music though, so I thought it would be alright. :D

[ 10-15-2001: Message edited by: ballerinaDEDG ]

#8 ScottieGDE13



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Posted 14 October 2001 - 09:20 PM

Those who don't hear the music, think the dancer mad.

#9 bbfan



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Posted 18 October 2001 - 10:56 AM

I am interested in dance quotes, and have two questions:
Azza_4eva: What is the URL for your quotations web site?

Anybody: Several years ago we came across a quote "Dance is the art that most moves man's soul" attributed to Plato. Is anyone familiar with this quote able to give a more specific reference, that is to a particular one of Plato's writings?

#10 Richard Jones

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 04:34 PM

Although I can't immediately place that quote from Plato, here's one from the Republic (c380 BC). Plato and Aristotle were agreed that the ideal form of education had gymnastics and music as two principal elements, the one for the discipline of the body and the other for the discipline of the mind.

In the Republic, Plato insists on a balance between these two elements of education: too much music will make a man effeminate or neurotic; too much of gymnastics will make him uncivilised, violent, and ignorant. "He who mingles music with gymnastics in the fairest proportions, and best attempers them to the soul, may be rightly called the true musician." (Plato: Republic III, 411 - translation from 'A History of Western Music' by D J Grout).

You can read so much into this. As a musician, I hear too many musical performances that do not have the rhythmic impulse or sense of line they should, the result being either dry or self-indulgent. I also see dance performances that are missing the same ingredients, and are 'too much gymnastics'. To 'attemper one's art to the soul' seems to be a key part of the process and requires a certain degree of humility in the face of the art.

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