Monday, 19 November 2012
When the World turns over
This strange, joyful image is from Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us, a book of quite amazing photographs of dancers doing what dancers do - but in wholly unexpected everyday situations. It began with a male dancer dressed in full commuter uniform taking off and flying across a Times Square subway platform, and it soon grew into a phenomenon - there's lots more imagery, video footage etc here.
Dancers Among Us is closely related to the flash mob movement, where one reality suddenly erupts into another - as in this glorious food market Brindisi from Philadelphia. At such moments the world turns over and shows its joyful spontaneous side, reminding us of another reality that is always there, but for so much of the time lost in the busyness of everyday. And there are dancers among us everywhere - unconscious dancers, mostly very bad. As soon as you become aware of the way people move - as I am increasingly doing - you realise that there is a kind of dance going on around us all the time, on every city street. Mostly it is a dance of shuffle and slouch, but sometimes you catch someone moving beautifully, with real grace. There are dancers among us, but they are too few.