Lincoln Kirstein quotes

  • The domain of the ballet dancer is not earth but air.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Air #Dancer #Ballet

  • If one had to define one essential gift with which a dancer needs to be endowed, there might be a rush of answers. A beautiful body, grace of line, graciousness of spirit, joy in the work, ability to please, unswerving integrity, relentless ambition towards some abstract perfection. Certainly all these factors determine a dancer's character, and every element exists in some combination within the performing artist's presence.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Beautiful #Dance #Integrity

  • Ballet dancers are a self-chosen elite. To survive and surmount years of disciplinary preparation and seasons of even more arduous performance requires rigid determination and almost mindless self-abnegation. One other factor is difficult to predetermine: without a certain admixture of hysteria - sometimes masking as self-obsession, sometimes even counterfeiting incipient madness - performers, at once acrobats, artists, and animals, make little public impression.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Dance #Determination #Artist

  • Dance design is not simply one element; it is that without which ballet cannot exist. As aria is to opera, words to poetry, color to painting, so sequence in steps - their syntax, idiom, vocabulary - are the stuff of stage dancing.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Dance #Color #Vocabulary

  • In liberal democracy and anxious anarchy, the traditional classic dance, compact of aristocratic authority and absolute freedom in a necessity of order, has never been so promising as an independent expression as it is today.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Independent #Expression #Order

  • She was chronologically in luck. She corresponded to necessity.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein


  • Transplanting the ballet to the United States is like trying to raise a palm tree in Dakota.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Inspirational #Tree #Ballet

  • While photography to Cartier-Bresson is constantly an intuitive process, it is never purely instinctive. It is founded on continuous intellection, on ceaseless consideration during all moments previous to, or preparatory for, the pressing. It does not only operate in the blinding flash of a moment seized; it works all the time. The snatched picture merely cuts across the vein of observable incident or accident which is always beating, whether or not the fingers actually press.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Photography #Cutting #Doe

  • The candid camera is the greatest liar in the photographic family.... It is anarchic, naïve, and superficial.
    -- Lincoln Kirstein

    #Liars #Candid Camera #Cameras

  • Do I do as false prophets do and puff air into simulacra? Am I a Sorcerer--like Macbeth's witches--mixing truth and lies in incandescent shapes? Or am I a kind of very minor scribe of a prophetic Book--telling such truth as in me lies, with aid of such fiction as I acknowledge mine, as Prospero acknowledged Caliban.

  • This was why I loved my Grana. Being with her always made me laugh. She accepted life for what it was. She didn’t pretend or put on airs. She was just Grana.

  • The first rule of all air combat is to see the opponent first. Like the hunter who stalks his prey and maneuvers himself unnoticed into the most favourable position for the kill, the fighter in the opening of a dogfight must detect the opponent as early as possible in order to attain a superior position for the attack.

  • To use a fighter as a fighter-bomber when the strength of the fighter arm is inadequate to achieve air superiority is putting the cart before the horse.

  • My goal is to be the best TV presenter, the best entertainer, the best singer. I still want to be the best dancer. I want to be the best at everything I do.

  • I suppose I'm the only person who remembers one of the most exciting of his ballets-it's the fruit of an unlikely collaboration between Nijinsky on the one hand and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the other.

  • Ballet is a dance executed by the human soul.

  • Be IN it. Get drunk in the moment.

  • I went to art school when I was little. I took ballet lessons. I played a little kick ball. I was sort of into everything because I had too much energy and I didn't know where to put it. When I was a preteen, I got into singing, and became really obsessed with it.

  • I thought 'Out of Africa' would be a beautiful ballet.