Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us

I love to see people dance. Not necessarily just anyone, but rather those people with natural ability and/or the raw precision and spectacular muscles of an athlete. It's amazing what the human body is capable of doing and expressing, and a well choreographed performance will highlight just that. As Jordan Matter says in his artist statement, dancers "bring to life what we feel but are unable to express physically."

I was first introduced to Matter's work when someone forwarded me an article in The Telegraph about his 2009 shoot in New York City. I was struck by these images in which world-class dancers dressed in regular clothes to "blend in" perform extremely difficult, gravity-defying dance moves in a public space (from commuter trains to libraries).  It's rare to be able to pause and share such a beautiful moment, because obviously the dancers are in motion, yet that is precisely what Jordan Matter's photographs do.  He has continued this project,  titled "Dancers Among Us", in many cities and it's a breathtaking and beautiful endeavor which I find most inspiring. You have to just look at the photos to understand:

I recently read Matter's artist statement, and was pleased to learn that his inspiration for the project came from watching his own kids play, and remembering those moments of passion, imagination and ability to stay in the present moment that we seem to lose as we grow older. I suppose that's what all artists, no matter what their medium, try to do to varying degrees --> recover that sense of wonder in the ordinary. Matter states his hope for his children: "I want them to be free from self-consciousness, to discover the deep happiness of impassioned lives, and to find the serenity to be truly present. These photographs communicate my dreams for them more powerfully than words alone-- relish moments large and small, recognize the beauty around you, and be alive!"