Synopses & Reviews
The mystery of the body in motion. The surprise of seeing what seems impossible. And the pure, joyful optimism of it all. Dancers Among Us presents one thrilling photograph after another of dancers leaping, spinning, lifting, kicking—but in the midst of daily life: on the beach, at a construction site, in a library, a restaurant, a park. With each image the reader feels buoyed up, eager to see the next bit of magic.
Photographer Jordan Matter started his Dancers Among Us Project by asking a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company to dance for him in a place where dance is unexpected. So, dressed in a commuters suit and tie, the dancer flew across a Times Square subway platform. And in that image Matter found what hed been searching for: a way to express the feeling of being fully alive in the moment, unself-conscious, present.
Organized around themes of work, play, love, exploration, dreaming, and more, Dancers Among Us celebrates life in a way thats fresh, surprising, original, universal. Theres no photoshopping here, no trampolines, no gimmicks, no tricks. Just a photographer, his vision, and the serendipity of what happens when the shutter clicks.
"Bodies of breathtaking grace and agility transform ordinary spaces, seemingly defying gravity as they plié and pirouette through busy streets, a record shop, along a heliport tarmac, and under the Santa Monica boardwalk."
--O, The Oprah Magazine The Washington Post
"In his shots of dancers in flight on sidewalks and city streets -- excitable superheroes among us -- Matter has produced a series of mini-musicals, frozen in time but full of energy."
--The Washington Post Smithsonian magazine
"It's a rare book that contains anything of interest on the copyright page, but this caught my eye: 'No trampolines or other devices were used in the taking of the photographs in this book, and the dancers' poses have not been digitally enhanced or altered.' It's not hard to see why the author felt that such a disclaimer was necessary; the photographs in this book are unbelievable."
--Smithsonian magazine Redbook
"The pictures in Dancers Among Us of pro hoofers getting their jeté on in public is a call to find the joy in everyday life--and to give in to that urge to boogie no matter where or when it hits you."
--Redbook Dance magazine
"Honest and spontaneous, his pictures are sure to resonate with dancers and non-dancers alike."
--Dance magazine Alan Cumming
"This book is something you should pick up every time you have forgotten that there is wit and beauty in the world--literally all around us."
--Alan Cumming, Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming
" 'Exuberance is beauty,' wrote William Blake, and seeing everyday situations made beautiful by these dancers' joyful exuberance made me feel happier from its first pages. A wonderful book!"
--Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin
"It takes only a moment to be present, but it takes great artistry to capture that moment forever. [These] photographs make time stand still, and for that moment, you question whether the impermanence of life is indeed inevitable."--Jennifer Grey, actress, winner of Dancing with the Stars Jennifer Grey
"This book renders one speechless. But if forced to utter a few words: amazing, original, beautiful, and grand."
--Amy Krouse Rosenthal, creator of The Beckoning Lovely Amy Krouse Rosenthal
"This book is a fabulous expression of loving life (whether working or playing) and living fully (whether grieving or dreaming). The amazing photos wholly transform our view of everyday activities. I wonder, if we could see into peoples' souls, would we see them dancing just like this?"
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness Sharon Salzberg
"I can't stop gazing at the photographs in this remarkable book. They're visually stunning, but that's just the beginning. Jordan Matter's dancers show us what it means to dream and to grieve, to live and to love. In other words, what it means to be human."
--Susan Cain, author of Quiet Susan Cain
"These images are exuberant, egalitarian, and warmly insouciant. One senses a true collaborative spirit between Jordan Matter and his extremely game subjects, and this spirit spills over onto the viewer. Every page invites us to practice the art of boundless imagination."
--Leah Hager Cohen, author of The Grief of Others Leah Hager Cohen
-The Chicago Sun-Times
About the Author
Jordan Matter is a portrait photographer whose work has been featured on Today, CBS, NBC, and the BBC, in The Daily News, Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, and Slate, and on blogs and newspapers around the country and the world. His first book was Uncovered. Mr. Matter lives with his wife and two young children in New York.