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Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday Paperback – October 23, 2012


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Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday + Dancers Among Us 2015 Wall Calendar + Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

"Breathtaking photos to free your imagination."

— Diane Sawyer, ABC World News



"Bodies of breathtaking grace and agility transform ordinary spaces, seemingly defying gravity as they plié and pirouette through busy streets, a record shop, along a heliport tarmac, and under the Santa Monica boardwalk."

O, The Oprah Magazine



“In his shots of dancers in flight on sidewalks and city streets — excitable superheroes among us — Matter has produced a series of mini-musicals, frozen in time but full of energy.”

—The Washington Post



"It's a rare book that contains anything of interest on the copyright page, but this caught my eye: ‘No trampolines or other devices were used in the taking of the photographs in this book, and the dancers' poses have not been digitally enhanced or altered.’ It's not hard to see why the author felt that such a disclaimer was necessary; the photographs in this book are unbelievable."

—Smithsonian Magazine



“The pictures in Dancers Among Us of pro hoofers getting their jeté on in public is a call to find the joy in everyday life—and to give in to that urge to boogie no matter where or when it hits you."

—Redbook



“Honest and spontaneous, his pictures are sure to resonate with dancers and non-dancers alike.”

—Dance magazine



“This book is something you should pick up every time you have forgotten that there is wit and beauty in the world—literally all around us.”

—Alan Cumming, Tony Award-winning actor



“ ‘Exuberance is beauty,’ wrote William Blake, and seeing everyday situations made beautiful by these dancers’ joyful exuberance made me feel happier from its first pages. A wonderful book!”

—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project



“It takes only a moment to be present, but it takes great artistry to capture that moment forever. [These] photographs make time stand still, and for that moment, you question whether the impermanence of life is indeed inevitable.”

—Jennifer Grey, actress, winner of Dancing with the Stars



“This book renders one speechless. But if forced to utter a few words: amazing, original, beautiful, and grand.”

—Amy Krouse Rosenthal, creator of The Beckoning Lovely



"This book is a fabulous expression of loving life (whether working or playing) and living fully (whether grieving or dreaming). The amazing photos wholly transform our view of everyday activities. I wonder, if we could see into peoples' souls, would we see them dancing just like this?"

—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness



“I can't stop gazing at the photographs in this remarkable book. They're visually stunning, but that's just the beginning. Jordan Matter's dancers show us what it means to dream and to grieve, to live and to love. In other words, what it means to be human.”

—Susan Cain, author of Quiet



“These images are exuberant, egalitarian, and warmly insouciant. One senses a true collaborative spirit between Jordan Matter and his extremely game subjects, and this spirit spills over onto the viewer. Every page invites us to practice the art of boundless imagination.”

—Leah Hager Cohen, author of The Grief of Others

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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 (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
13%
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See all 174 customer reviews
This book would make a great gift and\or coffee table book for any dancer.
Michelle
I look forward to more great works from Jordan Matter and I thank him and the dancers for sharing their talent with me through this book.
Kathleen Gunning
The book has some amazing photos and I would recommend it to anyone interested in dance or looking for some artistic inspiration.
Karen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By K. Yohe on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.

Even being close to this project, I was in no way prepared for how completely this book would consume me once I finally had it in my hands. I looked at the website dozens of times, I saw some of these shoots first hand, and there were still images that were new, that surprised me, made me laugh, and some that took my breath away. I stayed awake for several hours getting completely lost in each page, feeling my heart swell. Even if I spent some time thinking, "Oh, I wish I looked like that" (these bodies are amazing!), I spent more time thinking, "Oh, I've felt like that." The situations in the book are so recognizable and are divided into sections depicting things we all do: Dream, Love, Play, Explore, Grieve, Work, and above all, Live.

Jordan has included background stories for several pictures, and anecdotes from his own life so you can see how personal and heartfelt the creation of this book was. The pictures would be remarkable on their own, but it is so much more meaningful to know how much went into devising each shot - or how some of them seemingly created themselves. I can say it was a privilege to witness the enthusiasm, dedication, and courage of these dancers firsthand.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Leah Vincent on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'll be the outlier on these reviews but I was sorely disappointed by this book. I am a professional dancer so of course I am happy to see any material celebrating dance. But this book is uninspiring. 90% of the pictures are of dancers in a very similar position; if you just flip through the book in one setting, you'll notice the same image again and again - a leap or a dancer leaning back with her/his leg in the air. Human movement is so diverse and this was all the author could come up with? There are hundreds of dance traditions practiced in the U.S. and they were nowhere to be found in this book. Also, Dance expresses the whole range of human emotions and again, it was the same facial expression (or lack of) over and over in this book. My favorite picture was actually of a woman not doing a backbend but positioned with her partner and with the most beautiful expression on her face. This touched my soul. We artists do see joy in the everyday because we recognize the crazy diversity of the human experience. This book fell very short of its potential.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By anotherbusymom on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 situations.in my day-to-day life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mendozap on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy E Walsh on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The photos in this book are so true to inner joy. Every image is a reminder to recognize beauty in the ordinary - in our everyday lives. You don't have to be a dancer to LOVE THESE PHOTOS!!! I really can't say enough about this except that I absolutely love every page.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon W. Dotter on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alison's VINE VOICE on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book makes me happy.

Expecting the unexpected. In his new book, DANCERS AMONG US, Photographer Jordan Matter takes dancers and puts them into ordinary situations, making the scenes beautiful and extraordinary - on a beach, at a construction site, in a library, or at a Subway platform.

There is something about dance that evokes a strong emotional response from me, so I can't tell you how many times I have flipped through this book and smiled, laughed, and even teared up. I have such an appreciation for this art form- its movement, its strength, and its poetry. Yet Jordan Matter takes dance to another level by his still photographs. Not only are the photographs beautiful, but they all seem to move!

For anyone who loves dance, anyone who loves photography, or anyone who wants to see ordinary things through an artist's eyes, DANCERS AMONG US is a wonderful book. I know there will be wrapped copies under the tree this Christmas!

Gorgeous!
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