Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday

Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday

4.4 21
by Jordan Matter
     
 

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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

Overview

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 commuter’s suit and tie, the dancer flew across a Times Square subway platform. And in that image Matter found what he’d 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 that’s fresh, surprising, original, universal. There’s no photoshopping here, no trampolines, no gimmicks, no tricks. Just a photographer, his vision, and the serendipity of what happens when the shutter clicks.

Editorial Reviews

The Chicago Sun-Times
“Eye-popping fun.”

The Chicago Sun-Times

Alan Cumming
“Honest and spontaneous, his pictures are sure to resonate with dancers and non-dancers alike.”

Dance magazine

From the Publisher
“Eye-popping fun.”

The Chicago Sun-Times

The Oprah Magazine O
"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
"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

Smithsonian magazine
“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

Redbook
"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

Dance magazine
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761171706
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
283,390
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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What People are saying about this

Amy Krouse Rosenthal
“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

Gretchen Rubin
“ ‘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

Jennifer Grey
“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

Leah Hager Cohen
“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

Susan Cain
“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

Sharon Salzberg
"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

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

Meet 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. Mr. Matter lives with his wife and two young children in New York.

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Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't believe the gem that this book is! Actually, calling it just a book is like calling David just a statue. The statement in the summary that it is magic is true. These dancers and Jordan, the photographer and writer (the personal thoughts just inhance the photos), have come together in a way that makes you happy to be alive. The everyday settings make it even more so. Thank you Jordan and Barnes n Noble for opening up another view of the ordinary. I don't feel I will ever look at the world the same way again - there is joy in life, you just have to open yourself up to see it.
tetonpilates More than 1 year ago
I danced professionally many years ago and although it's no longer my form of income, I will always love it. This book is like a reunion for me--seeing all those wonderful artists, their bodies trained to move and express, it's like coming home. I've enjoyed it so much, I've purchased 3 other copies to give to people I love. You can't look through this without finding something to smile about, be in awe of, feel touched by. Do yourself a huge favor--buy this now and treat yourself to a delightful gift. You deserve it.
choirgal04 More than 1 year ago
My daughter is a dancer as well as a photography enthusiast, so this wonderful title was the perfect combination for her to enjoy on her NOOK! It seems like the eReader version of a really cool coffee-table book. The photographs are surprising and enchanting. Really beautiful. She was fascinated by the photographer's comments, too. So happy to have found this for my girl!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! Looks totally cool, I'll have to get this for my aspiring ballerina.
Yinzyoga More than 1 year ago
OMG! Thank you for this mega beautiful book. It made me weep with joy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must say that I have not seen anything like it. I felt free and happy just by looking at these amazing photographs and by reading the thoughts of the author. I love this book!
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gramieGF More than 1 year ago
BOTH the photos and the commentary of this wonderful book capture the author's euphoric love of life... Better yet, they pass it on to you !
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bryangorman More than 1 year ago
I bought this picture book as a gift for a dancer--but I browsed the photos before wrapping it. The various poses are whimsical, witty, and dramatic. Putting professional dancers into "civilian" attire and everyday settings is very clever and it works. This is a perfect coffee table book.
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