What inspires you to take a photograph? What is it that makes you pull out the camera and want to visually preserve something that caught your eye? For New York based photographer Jordan Matter, inspiration struck when he watched his son play with a toy bus: It should be possible to capture enthusiasm and joy in an image; with the people in the picture being alive and wholly present in the moment. Shortly afterwards, the Dancers Among Us project came into being.
“Just allow the environment to inspire you to an idea”, Matter explains his approach to photography in a behind-the-scenes video shot for the project. To him, dancers are storytellers, trained to capture passion with their bodies. They bring to life what we feel but what most of us are (obviously) unable to express physically.
Dancers Among Us first started as a local project in and around New York City, where Matter worked with members of the Paul Taylor Dance Company who would dance in the most unusual places, a Times Square subway platform, for example. When the photos went viral online, Matter started travelling outside of the US as well, collaborating with dancers in major cities around the world. The result is an amazing series, transforming everyday situations into dynamic and often unbelievable sceneries full of vibrancy and agility, inspiring to appreciate each moment and encourageing to simply enjoy the beauty of life.
Having danced ballet and jazz throughout my entire teen years, I hugely admire the artists before and behind the camera. To me, it is both the art of dance and the art of photography that wonderfully combine in those images. While so many of us do the obligatory jump photo when travelling, this series takes it to a whole new level – maybe to inspire you to a new signature move?
The Dancers Among Us series was published in a book and is partly available online. Matter has now moved on to the next project, called Athletes Among Us.
All photos by Jordan Matter.
Cordula Schaefer is a photography enthusiast who loves to venture out to explore new places and hardly ever leaves the house without a camera. A New Yorker at heart, she is especially fond of city trips and has a soft spot for beautiful beachscapes. She currently bases herself in Berlin and keeps the visual documents of her travels at Cordugram.