Friday Feature: Dancers Among Us

Today I wanted to share this really cool project by photographer Jordan Matter called Dancers Among Us and features people joyously interacting with the city around them. The series was conceived by Matter after watching his kids play with their toys – creating worlds that were full of life, excitement, and exploration.

The inspiration for this project came to me one afternoon as I watched my son play with his toy bus. I was trying to follow the fantasy racing through his three-year-old mind, as he intensely played with a yellow plastic box and armless figurines. At least that’s what I saw. He saw a thriving community rushing to catch the 77 local bus to Australia. He frantically jumped in place, mouth agape and slapping his knees, joyously reacting to a world I couldn’t see, but one nonetheless powerfully present for him. As we get older and wiser, what happens to this enthusiasm, this ability to be wholly present in the moment? Why are these pure moments of passion so often replaced by cynicism, boredom, and indifference? As I played with my son, I thought about creating photographs that would show the world as if through the fantastical eyes of a child. The people in the images would be alive and in the moment, celebrating all aspects and emotions of everyday life….The essence of the subject material parallels the current state of our society, where people are finding an appreciation of smaller, simpler pleasures. The images are infused with a humor and joyfulness that make the viewer feel good. The carefree nature of the work is a welcome antidote to the persistent anxiety that defines many people’s lives. – Jordan Matter

The photographs are so charming and really capture that sense of wonder, imagination and bliss that can be found in everyday life. I originally wanted to say so much more about them, but I feel the excerpt above really captures it all and highlights the importance of looking at the world with new eyes and not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by cynicism.

     

I’m drawn to these photos because they capture exactly how I feel when I’m truly inspired by a city, whether it is a new place I’m visiting for the first time or a street I’ve walked hundreds of times and I happen to notice something new. It’s an unbridled excitement and an eagerness to take it all in. It is a good reminder to take the time to really enjoy and be inspired by your surroundings – allow yourself to relish a little in the possibility of it all!

Have a great weekend!

** mouse over images for credit info.

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Friday Feature: Dancers Among Us

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