Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.— Twyla Tharp
The most valuable Twyla Tharp quotes that will activate your desire to change
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.
Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways.
If you only do what you know and do it very, very well, chances are that you won't fail. You'll just stagnate, and your work will get less and less interesting, and that's failure by erosion
Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Every work of art needs a spine – an underlying theme, a motive for coming into existence. It doesn't have to be apparent to the audience. But you need it at the start of the creative process to guide you and keep you going.
Life is about moving, it’s about change. And when things stop doing that they’re dead.
Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.
Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.
You have to believe there's something at the other side.
And you have to have faith in yourself. You have to think that you have the tools to accomplish it.
I'm not one who divides music, dance or art into various categories.
Either something works, or it doesn't.
I often say that in making dances I can make a world where I think things are done morally, done democratically, done honestly.
To make real change, you have to be well anchored - not only in the belief that it can be done, but also in some pretty real ways about who you are and what you can do.
I think that anyone who's pushed to do the very best that they can is privileged. It's a luxury.
In dreams, anything can be anything, and everybody can do.
We can fly, we can turn upside down, we can transform into anything.
A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet, that the two disciplines were totally separate, and if you did one, you couldn’t do the other. I’m beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things.
Perfect practice makes perfect.
Dancing is like bank robbery, it takes split-second timing.
Dancers are allowed, indeed encouraged, to remain children forever.
The ballet needs to tell its own story in such a way it can be received without having to be translated into language.
There are as many forms of memory as there are ways of perceiving, and every one of them is worth mining for inspiration.
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.
Later in life, one of the compensations is gliding effortlessly into focus in a thing. Since it is who we are, anything that is not the focus or supportive thereof is just not us. Even outside issues, when they arise, are interesting in that they only help define the focus more clearly.
When you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can't simulate in a sedentary position.
Over time, as the daily routines become second nature, discipline morphs into habit.
I also had a will that let me eliminate everything that stood in the way of my becoming the best dancer I could be. By a gradual process... (I) had invested every bit of my dreams, my hopes, my energies in defining myself as a dancer.
It is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience.
The content and thematic materials of dance is, of itself, like boxing.
You play tennis and baseball. But boxing is not a sport you play: you stand up and do it.
Dance has never been a particularly easy life, and everybody knows that.
The thing about creativity is, people are going to laugh at it. Get over it.
Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits.
I'm willing to be regarded as a tyrant to keep my vision intact.
Limits are a secret blessing, and bounty can be a curse.
The formal education that I received made little sense to me.
I had received my first establishment grants in response to applications filed the year before. To the pages of baffling forms I had simply attached a handwritten note saying, 'I make dances, not applications. Send the money. Love, Twyla.
The art of these Fifties movies was in sustaining forever the moment before sex.
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.
By making the start of the sequence automatic, they replace doubt and fear with comfort and routine.
Without the little ideas, there are no big ideas.
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.
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.
Energy and time are finite resources; conserving them is very important.
A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet.
I'm beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things.
Creativity is an act of defiance.
Traveling the paths of greatness, even in someone else's footprints, is a vital means to acquiring skill.
It's very difficult to justify a profession as a dancer.
I think of music as fuel, its spectrum of energy governed by tempi, volume, and heart.
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, which is a good thing for someone who still thinks of themselves as a very basic American.
You may wonder which came first: the skill or the hard work.
But that's a moot point. The Zen master cleans his own studio. So should you.
Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.
I had to become the greatest choreographer of my time.
That was my mission, and that's what I set out to do.