Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday

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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 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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761171703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761171706
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

Customer Reviews

Truly Beautiful

45 people found this helpful.
 on November 1, 2012
By K. Yohe
Full Disclosure: I’ve known Jordan since 2005. I was happy to assist him on a few shoots for Dancers Among Us, brainstorming ideas, and trying to get every dancer I knew to work with him. If you believe that taints my ability to give a decent review, I suppose I understand. But I’d argue I’m the perfect person to give a review because I can promise you that these pictures are real. The sweat, passion, and commitment of each dancer is real. The sheer talent of the photographer is real. And the power of this book is real.

hardback would be better

16 people found this helpful.
 on February 8, 2013
By anotherbusymom
We have enjoyed this book, although it would be much more impactful as a hardcover “coffee table book” and culled a little — some of the pictures are too obvious/unimaginative and dilute the book (for example, the girl in flowing white on a tree swing…why wasn’t this perhaps a boy looking ready to leap or squirm off, capturing that emotion of childhood challenge and adventure instead of a boring overdone romantic-girl stereotype?). But, the majority of the pictures are very imaginative and expressive, and capture the emotion of an everyday situation in a creative and enjoyable way, and I find myself reminded of them in various my day-to-day life.

Full of Highest Joy

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 3, 2016
By Glenda Lynne
This is an excellent book. It’s bright, imaginative, and full of the joy of dancing. The photography is terrific, and the short stories are fun and informative. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is because of the layout. I would preferred having the stories that accompany the photographs WITH the photos. I got really annoyed with having to move back and forth from the back of the book to the photos. Other than that, bravo!

So beautiful it made me cry.

9 people found this helpful.
 on October 28, 2012
By Jon W. Dotter
I had preordered my book and it on Friday. I love it. It’s so much bigger than I thought it would be. So. Many. Photos. Each one more beautiful and creative than the last. It makes me happy. Thank you, Jordan Matter, and the participating dancers. Jennifer Dotter

Good first book on dancers around city and country-scapes in very interesting poses and settings.

 on January 3, 2017
By Aotearoa_Kiwi
Beautifully staged dancers

Elegantly humorous

3 people found this helpful.
 on February 9, 2013
By Omicron B
A collection of lighthearted photographs showing dancers practicing their art in incongruously every day settings. My personal favorite is a setting that appears to be mountains of coal at an industrial setting. On top of a pile of coal, we see only the lower legs of a person wearing jeans – and ballet slippers, standing on point atop the refuse. Many pictures will bring a smile to your face. A few, maybe even a tear.

Soft back version doesn’t do pics justice

5 people found this helpful.
 on January 6, 2013
By Mendozap
I love the book and the fantastic photos ( I bought this as a gift for a dancer). However, the photos are so small they are difficult to see and fully appreciate. I would recommend looking at a hardcover or larger version.

Quintessential Matter

One person found this helpful.
 on October 26, 2012
By Anne DeAcetis
For anyone who doesn’t already know his work (and he’s been a New York treasure for years), this book is a perfect introduction to photographer Jordan Matter–an artist who is equal parts technical master, thoughtful witness, and great lover of mischief. Both his books, Uncovered and now Dancers Among Us, have involved high-risk shoots that probably should have gotten him in some form of trouble, even when they didn’t. But a general disinterest in permission is the brand of any self-respecting auteur, and Matter comes away with photographs so remarkably unique, it’s just too easy to enjoy him.

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