Over the course of three months, Jonathan Givens trekked across the United States with a Canon camera in his trusty van, The Mighty Buford - and got in a few flyer miles as well, but only because one can't drive to Hawaii. The mission was to photograph dancers within each state. The end result is the sublimely rich and brilliantly executed book, Dance Across the USA. Amid its glossy pages are 163 dancers forever captured in both space and time, suspended within beautiful choreography that's matched only by the stunning backdrops of some of the United States' most intriguing landscapes. Some of the photography is so surreal that it feels as if it must have been filtered and Photoshopped. Not so, Givens promises, which undoubtedly cements this photographer's masterpiece in photojournalism a place among some of the best coffee table books a reader can find.
The first thing I thought when I came across the first photo was "Woah." It took a bit of time for me to absorb it in its entirety, as each photo is striking in its own way. My favorite was of twenty-four-year-old dancer Maryann Payne, transfixed in a one-armed handstand, elegant and lithe against the backdrop of The Alamo at sunrise. The strength of the dancer is the human embodiment of fortitude, consistent in representing the spirit of the famous San Antonio mission. Next to each photograph is a description of the location, the number of miles traveled, and a synopsis of how Givens accomplished the shot. All in all, this book is a must-have for all lovers of dance, travel, photography, and art.