Dancers, going about daily life
August 7, 2010 6:51 AM   Subscribe

"I was thinking about the recession and what that meant for talented people who may have lost their jobs. Are you still a dancer if you are not paid to perform? Or are you still a chef when you don't have a kitchen to cook in? It is about people who walk the streets with this incredible skill who could just advertise their ability any time they wanted. Dance is always a part of them and they are always dancers"
Some dancers in everyday situations. Part of Dancers Among Us. (Via) Photographer Jordan Matter previously.
posted by djgh (44 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
That little kid on the left is going to grow up with such a fetish, and have no idea why.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:09 AM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Neat pictures!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:14 AM on August 7, 2010


Are you still a dancer if you are not paid to perform?

Capitalism says "no".
posted by Azazel Fel at 7:16 AM on August 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here's the previous thread about Matter's excellent "Uncovered" series.
posted by nomadicink at 7:20 AM on August 7, 2010


Can't help with the dancers, but strictly speaking, you're not a chef if you're not directing a kitchen staff. You're still, however, just a good a cook as you ever were.
posted by mojohand at 7:23 AM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love these, thanks for the post djgh!
posted by kylej at 7:29 AM on August 7, 2010


The dancer on the counter at Nathan's? I don't believe it! No way is a dancer eating a hot dog. If she can't afford to live on coke and cigarettes anymore, goodbye to ballet.

I shouldn't be such an ass. I love the photo of Jeffrey Smith on the bus, for one, and I really am sympathetic. As a writer -- worse, a novelist, an unpublished novelist at that -- I am living my life with my skills entirely invisible, and what is truly a part of me can never be seen. If I were to try to show it, I'd be the sort of woman who is always scribbling in a pretty blank book, talking about using things as "material" with a mischievous smile. As it is, I refrain.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:33 AM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The unexpected spontaneity and exuberance of the dancers in public is at odds with the ponderous, slow-fade self-importance of the site's image interface.

what, wasn't it my turn to gripe about a photo site interface?
posted by longsleeves at 7:51 AM on August 7, 2010


A man had just been laid off from work. He was standing on the railing of a high bridge getting ready to jump off, when he happened to look down and see a little man with no arms dancing all around on the river bank below.

He thought, "Life isn't so bad after all," and got off the railing.

He then walked down to the river bank to thank the little man for saving his life.

"Thank you," he said. "I was going to jump off that bridge and kill myself, but when I saw you dancing even though you have no arms, I changed my mind."

"Dancing? I'm not dancing!" the armless man replied bitterly ... "My asshole itches, and I can't scratch it!"
posted by netbros at 7:58 AM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman are on their lunch break, comparing lunches.

"Cheese and pickle! Bloody cheese and pickle!" exclaims the Englishman. "I tell you, if my wife makes me cheese and pickle again tomorrow, I'll kill myself."

"Salmon. Again. Always salmon" says the Scotsman. "If it's salmon tomorrow, that's it. I'll kill myself."

"I don't believe it" says the Irishman. "Ham and cheese. Same again, same as every day. Well, if it's the same tomorrow, there's no point going on - I'll kill myself."

The next day rolls around.

The Englishman unwraps his sandwich. "Well, that's it boys. Been nice knowing you" he says as he opens the window. As he jumps from the top storey, all that remains is his cheese and pickle sandwich.

The Scotsman chuckles mirthlessly to himself, and throws his salmon sandwich out of the window before following down to the ground.

The Irishman soon joins them all, leaving behind his ham and cheese sandwich.

At the joint funeral, the wives of the three gather together.

"If only he'd said something!" sobs the Englishman's wife. "He never said anything! Damn his stiff upper lip, I would've made him something else!"

"I know what you mean" says the Scotsman's wife. "I always thought he loved salmon - he never complained."

"You know, it's funny" mused the Irishman's wife, "as he always made his own lunch".
posted by djgh at 8:15 AM on August 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


I am an Irish dancer and one time was about 11 years old, I was shopping with my parents at Marshall Fields on State Street in Chicago (RIP). I had wandered away for a few minutes to look at some clothes or something and I started humming a reel and I was completely unaware that I started dancing. When I stopped, the small crowd that gathered clapped and I was so embarrassed. I was just lost in my own thoughts of music and dance that I forgot where I was. Oh, to be 11 and that unselfconscious!

Nothing like that ever happened again, but to this day at work during meetings, I find myself silently tapping out rhythms very discreetly under the table. I think it's safe to say I spend a seconds to a few minutes everyday engaging in some degree dance.

I love this post. It rings so true for me.
posted by Hop123 at 8:22 AM on August 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


Capitalism says "no".

But you can still be a joy-killer for no pay.
posted by Babblesort at 8:39 AM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


If I were to try to show it, I'd be the sort of woman who is always scribbling in a pretty blank book, talking about using things as "material" with a mischievous smile.

HELLO photo essay!
posted by nomadicink at 8:46 AM on August 7, 2010


What would you do if you couldn't dance?
posted by Epenthesis at 8:47 AM on August 7, 2010


Neat photos.
posted by Forktine at 8:55 AM on August 7, 2010


Normal person 1, normal person 2, normal person 3, and stereotypically venal person become lifelong friends. They make a pact that as a sign of their devotion to one another, they will each put $5,000 in the casket of the first of them to go.

Normal person 1 dies, and the other three friends come to the funeral.

Normal person 2 comes up to the casket. He makes a little speech that includes stereotypical things about his nationality, and then puts $5,000 in the casket. Normal person 3 does the same.

The stereotypically venal person comes up and similarly expresses what a hardship it is to sacrifice, but that he must keep his word in the name of friendship. He then scoops up the $10,000 cash, and leaves a cheque for $15,000.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:55 AM on August 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Looks like pro-dancers are NOT chubby.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 9:08 AM on August 7, 2010


I love this. I'll never be able to make a grand leap like Jordan Matter (lovely!), but I notice that my ballet training comes back to me all the time - like when I'm picking up something from the floor, I'll do a demi-plié fourth position croisé, or an arabesque à demi hauteur.

Plus I still hear my teacher's voice all the time, very similar to in this video.
posted by HopperFan at 9:16 AM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you still a dancer if you are not paid to perform?

Capitalism says "no".


My employer doesn't pay me to be a man - but I don't feel I'm any less of a man because of that.
posted by Mike1024 at 9:33 AM on August 7, 2010


Drat, I meant " Annmaria Mazzini," not Jordan Matter.
posted by HopperFan at 9:39 AM on August 7, 2010


1. I will always love NYC as a backdrop for dance.
2. That guy at the Carnegie Deli seems worried that her foot will end up in the sandwich.
3. What is it about this post that inspired all these jokes? (Not Capitalism, I hope.)
posted by emhutchinson at 9:42 AM on August 7, 2010


4. Where can I get some of those truly cool boots?
posted by emhutchinson at 9:43 AM on August 7, 2010


My employer doesn't pay me to be a man

Ask one of your female colleagues who has the same job how much she's paid and I bet you'll see your employer is paying you as a man.

Great photos.

Reminds of of what my uncle (who's been acting in minor roles on Broadway for decades) "When you meet someone in NYC who calls herself an actress (or himself an actor), the proper response is to ask them what restaurant they work in."
posted by three blind mice at 9:56 AM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Knowing most of these guys personally (hey jeff!), I can say that 1. yes you are a dancer if you aren't paid (that's a silly thing to have said especially because it is rare for a dancer to have more than 32 weeks of paid work a year even in the biggest of companies and 2. They do eat hot dogs occasionally.
posted by khaaaaa at 10:01 AM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Are you still a dancer if you are not paid to perform?

Capitalism says "no".


So I'm not actually a father?
posted by FfejL at 10:13 AM on August 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I fantasize about hanging from the railing when the subway gets too crowded, too.
posted by spec80 at 10:23 AM on August 7, 2010


Holy crap. Not only are these nifty, but I found someone I used to take classes with some mumble mumble years ago.
posted by romakimmy at 10:26 AM on August 7, 2010


Nice. Reminds me of the Shaolin effect on the slipping woman in Shaolin Soccer.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:59 AM on August 7, 2010


Theses are great. I always find it weird that dance, which is about movement and rhythm, seems to have its spirit caught so well by photography, which is about freezing moments in time.

And kudos for the non-flash web gallery.
posted by chairface at 11:41 AM on August 7, 2010


Love these. And Bill Irwin!
posted by zix at 1:03 PM on August 7, 2010


Just had to say that in the photo where the dancers are bending down to tip some buskers in the park- that is my friend Joel on the banjo! What a wonderful surprise this morning!
posted by Polyhymnia at 2:22 PM on August 7, 2010


Hee, I do that leg-stretching-out-on-a-pillar thing pretty often. funny how some things just stick with you!
posted by divabat at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2010


Ask one of your female colleagues who has the same job how much she's paid and I bet you'll see your employer is paying you as a man

Unless you work as a CEO this probably won't show you much.

/derail
posted by Space Coyote at 4:19 PM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


So I'm not actually a father?

Well, from a capitalistic perspective, you haven't done anything of utility unless you're paid to do it or unless you pay someone else for it. Parenting has utility in capitalism because it generates revenue for toy stores, baby food manufacturers.

I'm not agreeing with it (I think some people got that feeling in this thread), I'm just saying that, from a Capitalistic Wall-Street perspective, no, you aren't a dancer and no, you aren't even a man unless you can monetize those qualities somehow. If they're not monetized they might as well not exist.

Our whole-hearted embrace of capitalism is one of the worst things about our society.
posted by Azazel Fel at 4:42 PM on August 7, 2010


Fucking dancers how do they work?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:05 PM on August 7, 2010


These are wonderful.
posted by Put the kettle on at 5:11 PM on August 7, 2010


God this is beautiful. Beautiful photos of beautiful people in a beautiful city. I love you, New York.
posted by ms.codex at 9:46 PM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Love these. And Bill Irwin!
posted by zix at 4:03 PM on August 7


OMFG IT IS HIM!

i used to ... ahem ... stalk him back in the 80s when he was still an unknown who would spend HOURS juggling on the corner of 6th Avenue and West 4th Street. he was mesmerizing, fascinating and a little terrifying. for years i tried to drum up the courage to ask him out but never did. he seemed just too into his juggling and miming to be bothered by anything else. so i'd pretent to have something to do at the reclycling center that used to be there or sometimes just sit on the stoop of St. Mark's Church and watch him for a bit before catching the F train back to Brooklyn.

who knew he was going to become not just Mr. Noodle's brother but a Tony Award winner and the first performance artist to be awarded a 5-year MacArthur Fellowship.

yes, i still regret not having the courage to ask him to have a coffee with me. he has the dreamiest blue eyes ...
posted by liza at 10:43 PM on August 7, 2010


Parenting has utility in capitalism because it generates revenue for toy stores, baby food manufacturers.

Dancing generates revenue for dance-shoe manufacturers.

Is the dividing line between 'dancer' and 'non-dancer' ownership of dance shoes?
posted by Mike1024 at 2:06 AM on August 8, 2010


Whats with all the dudes who are acting all under appreciated in society?

I think you're a dancer/*whatever* if people in your non-professional life identify you as that professional.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:01 AM on August 8, 2010


In my head, I understand that these people are professionals who probably risk as much on every leap, but I still cringe to see hair so close to the cracks. Strangely enough, this doesn't bother me as much. Maybe I unconsciously assume there's a net underneath.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:47 PM on August 8, 2010


Now that I've gone through them, I'm surprised which ones impressed me the most. I'd have expected it to be the really athletic poses that are clearly beyond anything I will ever reach, but instead it's this enraged woman stabbing her companion and Bill Irwin enjoying some music and this guy who's late for his train and this woman looking for the right fried thing. It's just amazing and bizarre how I feel as though I know exactly what's going on in their heads from these standalone snapshots.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:00 PM on August 8, 2010


Request: Cop has pulled someone over and is doing a sobriety field test, which is being absolutely aced by the dancer... regardless of how drunk they actually are :)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:02 PM on August 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is at least one of these shots which I would happily pay some money to have framed in my house. On a more commercial scale, I'd love the calendar. There could even be one so fantastic I'd regret my inability or unwillingness to pay enough to own.

I love dance.
posted by Goofyy at 10:25 PM on August 8, 2010


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