Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dancers Among Us Special Memories- Kristina Hanna

The Dancers Among Us book will span 240 pages, and will feature over 150 different dancers from 35 cities and towns. In the back of the book there is a section titled, "About the Photographs," where I tell some of my favorite stories and highlight some of my very favorite Dancers Among Us images. Leading up to the book's release on October 21, I will continue to share some of my most memorable experiences with you! (Check out a special memory I had with Paul Taylor dancer Michael Trusnovec by clicking here.)

The image of Kristina Hanna on a dumpster is featured in the "Exploring" chapter, titled "You Are Here." Before it was shot, I photographed Kristina in a classically beautiful dance pose in Washington Heights-


But I felt like I should try to push the envelope further, so we headed down to Hotel Chelsea, looking for a little grunge. Here is the excerpt of the importance of this image to me:

I knew early on that I wanted to get out of the “pretty picture” box that defines many dance photographs, but it wasn’t always easy to do. Hannah is a beautiful woman, so shooting her hanging from a dumpster with a cigarette in her mouth wasn’t exactly my first instinct. Making this photo reminded me that beauty comes in all forms, and it inspired me to continue looking for less glamorous settings and scenarios.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As Dancers Among Us Turns the Page, I Pause to Reminisce

The other day I wrote an email to Workman Publishing editor in chief Suzie Bolotin. I wanted her to reconsider a certain photo that had been cut from the final version of Dancers Among Us. This is the response I received-

"Jordan, Jordan, Jordan- the barn doors, as they say, have closed."

Then it hit me. After three and a half years of shooting, a year of traveling around the country, and months of writing and editing, the creative process for Dancers Among Us is finished. The book is complete. We are awaiting the first galleys from the printer, and no significant changes will be made.

There is still lots of work to do- we are in the throws of collecting flattering blurbs for the cover (it's going amazingly well, by the way, but we could use a few more- anyone know Madonna?), in September I may be traveling to the mid-west to participate in the printing process, and of course there's the actual publishing of the book on October 21! So it's going to be a busy year. But as for creative work on the design and content of the book, the barn doors have closed.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling sentimental. From the minute I met the folks at Workman, I knew I was having a once in a lifetime adventure. I've been introduced to many people at this great publishing house, and each one of them has been generous with their time and wildly excited about the photographs. I've been inspired by their enthusiasm.

Throughout the creative process, I worked tirelessly with Suzie and senior designer/editor Netta Rabin. In addition to being brilliant, they fully embody the central message of the book- love what you do, live a passionate life, and be alive. I don't know what the future holds for Dancers Among Us, but I know one thing for certain- this has been an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Suzie, Jordan and Netta