Half-Moon Bay California

Jordan Matter played baseball his first 20 years, became an actor, a portrait photographer and then made a book with pictures of bare-breasted women in public locations. His pictures (here are 20 of them) in another book are what intrigue me: dancers celebrating the joy of life in outdoor spaces. The final shots are beautiful and fanciful, slices of a motion that only a camera can capture.

But I am most interested in the demanding process of making that image. How many times did the dancer jump or leap? How taxing was it? How difficult, exasperating? That is the challenge…to get it just right. That is the physical effort that even an accomplished dancer had to push through, while Jordan is dealing with light, action, gawkers, cops.


Washington DC

So here is a link to Matter’s videos of what happened behind the scenes. There are over 25 short videos (just below the main larger video) that helped me appreciate the achievement of each session. One poor dancer had to work on the top of a mound of earth…only to discover later that it was not dirt, but the oily asphalt used to patch potholes. Others were lifting in the midst of a zillion sea gulls that might have torn them into pieces, like Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds. Here is one good example with street cleaners shoveling snow:

Dancers Among Us: In Harlem from Jordan Matter on Vimeo.

And here is the first overview from Jordan’s channel that shows you snippets from more of the videos:

Dancers Among Us goes around the USA in Ninety Seconds from Jordan Matter on Vimeo.