Dance Across the USA


Non-Fiction - Travel
306 Pages
Reviewed on 04/23/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

My name is Jonathan Givens, and I'm a, well, I do a lot. It's really down to I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, if I grow up. My wife says I'm 4. I think that's pretty accurate.

I have spent my whole life working in entertainment...first as an actor/dancer/singer, then a technician, then a designer. I've been a choreographer and a director. My career has spanned theater, film, television, circus, McDonald's, and Waffle House. Like many people I know in the arts, I have had to do lots of things to get by. Some pretty cool, others not so much. I am a Certified Professional Photographer, and have earned the degree of Master of Photography, both through the Professional Photographer's Association. In the entertainment world, I am a dual-certified ETCP rigger, a member of the Actor's Equity Association (AEA), and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). I am also an American Circus Educators Safety Consultant.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

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.

Jennifer Knight

Amazing book!! The pictures are gorgeous and I absolutely love this book.

Jill Ferguson

Beautifully done! This book shows the awesomeness of our national parks and the dancers that live near them.

Angela S

Not only should you have a copy for yourself but this book is an amazing gift as well. It basically has it all. Nature, History, Dance, Photography, Travel, Our Great Nation amd more. Many forms of art represented in this beautiful book.

Melanie Lyon

Beautiful book! Gorgeous pictures! Great coffee table book! I’ve already bought numerous copies for gifting and everyone loves it!!!

Dawn Chizek

Dance Across the USA is the culmination of an ambitious idea to marry the art of dance with the beauty of this great country that we live in! In traveling to all 50 states, Jonathan Givens captures the beautiful diversity found in many well known, iconic locations, but also among some hidden gems that should be added to any travelers bucket list. The bonus is his indomitable ability to capture dancers in the air, mid leap, sometimes in seemingly impossible shots. To get those shots set against the stunning backgrounds Provides a story from each locale. The book is both visually stunning , and fun to read . It deserves to be on the coffee table of dance enthusiasts, nature lovers, travelers, photographers, and daydreamers everywhere!

Lynne Coomes

Brilliant!