Book Reviews

Review — Dancers Among Us by Jordan Matter

Dancers Among Us
by Jordan Matter
Workman Publishing
October 2012
Paperback, 229 pages
Source: Gifted. Thank you, Mom!

View on Goodreads.

About the book:

A book to make you dream. A book to take your breath away. A book not just for the dancers among us, but for the dancer inside each of us.

The mystery of the body in motion. The surprise of seeing what seems impossible. The art of a moment–a moment of joy, love, silence, grief,effort, life–captured.

In one thrilling photograph after another, Dancers Among Us presents professional dancers from across the country–leaping, spinning, lifting, kicking, while in the midst of daily living.

There’s no photo manipulation here, no trampolines, no gimmicks, no tricks. Just a photographer, his vision, and the serendipity of what happens when the shutter clicks.

The review:

Dancers Among Us started from an idea that at first didn’t go anywhere, but later exploded and went viral — it started just as a project Jordan Matter was doing on his website. The book was created, you could say, due to popular demand, and Jordan travelled around the country photographing dancers in all sorts of locations, from busy cities, to abandoned buildings, to wheat fields.

The photographs are stunning, absolutely breathtaking. Jordan captured the dancers at the peak of their positions, catching them in shapes and poses that seem impossible. Jumps and leaps are the most abundant in this book, and the pictures really depict the dancers as if they’re gracefully flying or levitating. I spent the entire day flipping through the pictures, marvelling at their beauty, and the beauty of the dancers. Most are fun and happy scenes, the dancers clearly enjoying themselves, but other photographs are more serious. Some shots are posed, but none have been manipulated in any way. This is a book I’ll be returning to again and again.

Jordan does not use any effects when shooting. He uses natural light and just has the dancers repeatedly pose until they get a worthy picture. The dancers were all willing and enthused, jumping over and over again on hard concrete or draping themselves off dangerous walls, all for the sake of getting that wow photograph. The stories Jordan shares in the back of the book are almost all fascinating. He and the dancers braved rain and snow, had run-ins with security and police, snapped pictures in front of oncoming trains, and dealt with lots more obstacles they had to find a way around in order to take some phenomenal photographs.

I loved Dancers Among Us. It’s a unique book that anybody will admire. Within its pages are some famous artists in the world of dance, as well as lesser-known but just as awesome dancers: Bebe Neuwirth and Alex Wong are the big names, but there are other established dancers from all styles of dance (modern, ballet, swing, etc) — some that I even know personally! This is a perfect coffee table book, one that you’ll peruse all the time and that you’ll be proud to show off to your friends, should they come over. Pick up a copy of this beautiful book — you won’t regret it. ♦

So tell me…

Have you read Dancers Among Us? If you haven’t, would you be interested to? Do you like photography books? What was the last one you perused? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!

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