Monday, 19 November 2012

When the World turns over

Something you don't often see at the public library...
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.

10 comments:

  1. 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.

    Have you just fallen in love, Nige?

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  2. Ho ho - what kind of blog do you take this for, Peter?

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  3. No offence, it's just that, while I might have revelled in a post like this from you about dancing birds and butterflies, I would have expected a more curmudgeonly take on dancing humans. Don't you feel the slightest urge to tell them to quieten down, act their ages and get back to the serious business of getting and spending?

    But ok, I'll give it a try, Nige. Can we have a post on rainbows on roses and whiskers on kittens?

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  4. I'm sure it's only a matter of time Peter...

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  5. The Papas of Modern Dance are even more poetic than you Nige!
    Jose Limon - 'It (dance) is a human necessity, profound and not to be denied. Puritans have banned and proscribed it at various times as the work of the Devil, happily without success. I believe that we are never more truly and profoundly human than when we dance.'
    Erick Hawkins - 'For even one person to move beautifully would be to give the possibility of beautiful movement to everyone in the world.'
    But that was another age!
    I hope it's only a matter of time...

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  6. I'm beginning to think they're right Tricia!

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