You don’t have to be a dancer or a fan of the ballet to appreciate the captivating photography of dancers in everyday situations by Jordan Matter. The author of the photo book Dancers Among Us, Jordan is a prolific photographer who loves traveling and working with actors and dancers to capture them doing their thing off stage. His photos also appear in the Dancers Among Us Page-A-Day® wall calendar.
Jordan’s first stroke of inspiration for the book occurred as he observed his son, Hudson, playing with his toy bus. “I was trying to keep pace with his three-year-old mind as he got deeper and deeper into a fantasy involving nothing more than a yellow plastic box and armless figurines,” Jordan recalls.
He continued to watch his son, deeply ensconced in his fantasy world, as he jumped about, smiled and operated in an imagined setting. Jordan wanted to know why this total immersion in the moment is so much more difficult to achieve as we age. He wanted to create photographs that somehow captured that fleeting ability to be entirely present in the moment.
Soon after, Jordan happened to go to a dance performance and everything came together in his mind. Dancers tell stories through their bodies. Jordan began to seek out dancers everywhere he went. However, he didn’t just photograph them performing on the stage. He worked with them for hours at a time to catch them in total immersion of their art.
Jordan dedicates his work to Hudson—the original fount of inspiration for Dancers Among Us—and his daughter Salish. The emotion in Jordan’s work—and the powerful words he uses to describe it—demonstrate that he is more than just a photographer. He’s also a beacon of inspiration. “Relish moments large and small,” he counsels. “Recognize the beauty around you, and be alive!”
Duly noted. Of course, his photographs communicate as much. Miraculously, a woman in a yellow dress hovers in the air (mid-jump) as she simultaneously picks an apple from a tree and smells a bouquet of flowers. Her male companion looks up in awe from below. Inspirational lesson: Don’t forget to smell the flowers!
Three men stand on their heads at the cusp of a foot bridge. Inspirational lesson: Sometimes looking at things from a different perspective can make you see their beauty in new light.
To check out Jordan’s work, check out his Pinterest or visit him on Facebook. Go forth and find the dancers among you... and don’t forget to put a skip in your step!