Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jordan Matter's Believe It or Not- Dancers Among Us Unveiled

Last week I spent an exciting Dancers Among Us afternoon in Westchester, New York with Lloyd Knight of Martha Graham Dance Company, Eric Bourne of Parsons Dance, and Broadway dancer Dayla Perkins. The dancers kissed in a photo booth, smoked cigarettes on a train platform, got stuck to gum on a boardwalk, and were busted jumping at an amusement park (who knew you aren't allowed to jump off picnic tables??).

As the sun was setting, we all rushed to a quiet beach in New Rochelle. I wanted a twilight photo of the guys splashing around in the water while Dayla levitates above the horizon. The fantastic thing about working with such talented dancers is that if I can imagine it, they can usually do it.

People often ask me if any tricks or devices are used to create my dance photographs. The answer is an emphatic "No!" There are no trampolines, wires, or Photoshop effects. I rely solely on the creativity and athleticism of talented professionals, and they continue to make me look good.

This photograph caused an unusual degree of disbelief among those who saw it. "Did she jump? If so, off what? Did they throw her? But their arms aren't in the air. How the frack did you do that? Did you combine two photos?"

Where's the trust, people? Where's the love? Have I ever fooled you before? Fortunately, my assistant, Travis Francis, brought his video camera. I have decided to expose the process, imperfections and all. If you believe the moon landing was rigged and Elvis is still alive, this video might not sway you. But for everyone else, you'll gain a better understanding of what the dancers put themselves (and their bodies) through for a photo.

This week I'm in the Bay Area of California, and I have discovered firsthand that the Pacific water is far too cold to try anything like that for another Dancers Among Us scenario. I am sure there are a slew of adventures waiting for me and the west coast dancers I will be working with here, and I look forward to sharing them with you!