At the ballet classes I took when I first came to New York, I would see great dancers like Cynthia Gregory and Lupe Serrano. I would look at them and study what they could do, and what I couldn't do. And then I'd think maybe they should try what I could do.
Well, Mozart is extraordinary not only in that he became virtuoso along the lines of his father, but that he had that compositional gift, that melodic gift. By the time he was four, he was doing piano concertos with harmony in the background.
It's very difficult for me to do fund raising for my own organization if I'm working for other companies because sponsors will say, 'Well, hey, man, if she's doing a ballet for Ballet Theatre, we'll give money to Ballet Theatre.'
I don't think politicians should be allowed into power who are not familiar with their bodies, because that's where our bottom line is. And I know that they would make totally different decisions if they felt responsible simply for their own bodies.
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.
I look for dancers who have all the technique in the world. But they must be dancers who are open-minded, who are willing to forget that they know anything. They also have to be gorgeous; they must have a clear image of themselves and strong personalities.
When I say I can see through clothes, sometimes I try to use it as an X-ray vision to look into the dancer and see who this dancer is right now, at this exact moment in time. I live inside them in a way.
I'm obviously always interested in the dancer who's an athlete and vice versa. I expect dancers to be in condition like an athlete is and to challenge themselves in the same way, to the same physical degree.
My favorite audience is everybody. I worked in a drive-in theater from the time I was 8 years old until I went to college, and I'm accustomed to everybody can buy a ticket and everybody should be taken into account.
I used to say to myself, 'Well, in the old days everybody danced because they loved to dance, and there was none of this professional garbage going on about how much can you get for this or that or the other, or any of the kinds of things that insecurity can sometimes promote. Sometimes it's for the wrong reasons.'