NYC/Dance Photography

When it comes to dance photography, I have a serious soft spot.  Dane Shitagi’s Ballerina Project, Lois Greenfield’s work, I love it all. And so, I was delighted when a friend showed me what baseball player-turned-actor-turned-photographer Jordan Matter has been working on: Dancers Among Us.  It’s been around since 2009, and is a labor of love between Matter, professional dancers from all over and New York City’s magnificent cityscape.

 

“Dancers Among Us” is a celebration of being alive. Matter watched his children play make-believe one day, and was completely inspired by the pure and innocent pleasure he witnessed. He wanted to create a photo project that could convey that same sense of childish pleasure, free from self-consciousness, in everyday activities. From headstands on the escalator at Grand Central, to leaping down the steps at the Plaza Hotel, to plank-pose on the tables at the Public Library, each photograph is packed with total and utter joy.

 

You can view the entire collection at jordanmatter.com/photography/dance-photography/dancers-among-us/gallery.php#

 

They are sure to brighten your day.  I looked at them this morning - and haven’t stopped smiling since.

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Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

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Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

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Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

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