Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday

Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday

By Jordan Matter

Workman Publishing, 2012

231 pages

One thing dancers love more than watching dance is watching dancers do ordinary things—in a dancerly fashion, of course. Which is exactly what you get in the portraits of Jordan Matter’s photography book, Dancers Among Us, the perfect gift for fellow dance teachers, office staff and accompanists this holiday season. There are more than 170 images: From a dancer in muddy pointe shoes at a Chicago construction site to a suited “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist soaring in front of the New York Stock Exchange, they show a broad range of dancers in everyday locations across North America.

The concept took shape when Matter asked former Paul Taylor dancer Jeffrey Smith to leap across a Times Square subway platform in Manhattan amid the daily rush of travelers. As Smith hangs in the air, onlookers stare in awe (or confusion), which marks the theme of the collection—the dancers are among us. Many images show pedestrians surprised by the dancers, and some even participate in the shots. To set the mood of each chapter, Matter includes heartwarming anecdotes from his own life experiences as a husband, father and son. There are also behind-the-scenes stories for many of the images, thankfully, since many of the scenes leave the reader thinking, “How’d they do that?”

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