Dancer Images Lighten Up the City

September 7, 2013

Aisha Mitchell of Alvin Ailey


A dancer bounds high up above the grass in Sheep’s Meadow, and no one seems to notice. Another thrusts (most of) her body out of a car window in full flamboyant attitude, in the midst of traffic. A third is flipping his whole body in a Streb-like back dive onto a bed of daffodils.

These images are from Jordan Matter, dance photographer extraordinaire, whose exhibit “Joyful New York” opens tonight (Sept. 9) at One New York Plaza. The photos, blown up to be monumental in size, will cover the façade of the Plaza.


Jason Macdonald of Parsons Dance in Central Park

Many photographers have tried to do what he does: place dancers in everyday settings. But somehow when Jordan Matter sets his dancers loose in the city—usually in everyday clothes as opposed to costumes—the results are deliciously  startling; they bring a smile to one’s lips. His images transform office spaces, roads, and bookstores into locales where anything can happen. That buoyant spirit is what makes Matter’s book, Dancers Among Us, into a bestseller. (We reviewed it here.)


Parisa Khobdeh of Paul Taylor and Billy Bell of Cedar Lake in front of the Metropolitan Museum

The New York show, sponsored by Arts Brookfield, runs till October 4. If you miss this exhibit, there’s a smaller one up at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga that runs through April, 2014. For future Jordan Matter exhibits, click here.