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.
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.
Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.
The formal education that I received made little sense to me.
I never studied with Balanchine, but his work was very important to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I often say that in making dances I can make a world where I think things are done morally, done democratically, done honestly.
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.
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.
I think that anyone who's pushed to do the very best that they can is privileged. It's a luxury.