Wendy Whelan on NYC-ARTS | Farewell Performance with New York City Ballet & Restless Creature Dance Film Footage

Joshua Beamish, Kyle Abraham, Wendy Whelan, Alejandro Cerrudo & Brian Brooks by Christopher Duggan

Joshua Beamish, Kyle Abraham, Wendy Whelan, Alejandro Cerrudo & Brian Brooks by Christopher Duggan

I felt quite emotional on October 18, when Wendy Whelan said her farewell to New York City Ballet. I can’t even imagine how Wendy herself must have felt!

Wendy Whelan has touched so many of our lives onstage and off. I am so happy I was there to see her final performance. I cannot wait to see what she continues to bless all of us with in her life and ongoing dance career. I have loved filming her, talking with her, laughing with her and watching her face countless times on my computer screen over the past few years as I edited films for Restless Creature and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Vail International Dance Festival

Wendy Whelan by Christopher Duggan

Wendy Whelan by Christopher Duggan

Oh, what a night! Wendy Whelan was so gorgeous on her last night with New York City Ballet. And we all can’t wait to see what comes next. She says it best in this interview with NYC-ARTS, featuring my film footage from rehearsals and performances of Restless Creature:

Wendy Whelan ballet film feature on NYC-ARTS

“I wanted to fight for something. I wanted the challenge. I wanted to feel what it feels like to climb again. And I did.” – Wendy Whelan

Wendy Whelan | Retiring from New York City Ballet

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary. Christopher and I are happy and grateful for each other, and also for sharing our lives together professionally, too, working in the dance world. We’re celebrating 9 wonderful years of marriage tonight by attending the ballet!

Wendy Whelan has always been one of our all-time favorite performers. There’s just something about her that goes beyond the steps, beyond the costumes. She lives the choreography and performs with real heart and real integrity. We just can’t take our eyes off her – never could! I have loved getting to know Wendy the last few years.

Wendy is retiring from New York City Ballet this Saturday, October 18, 2014 as you may know.  We are so excited to see how her career transforms and what new dance projects she will take on in the years to come.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Wendy on multiple occasions, from filming her at Vail International Dance Festival in Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain” (I’m obsessed) to following her throughout her journey making Restless Creature with Kyle Abraham, Brian Brooks, Joshua Beamish and Alejandro Cerrudo to premiere at Jacob’s Pillow. It was pretty much a dream to follow her through her process in Restless Creature.

I’m sending my best wishes to Wendy this week. I know it must be emotional and so exciting for her. I’ll be there Saturday to watch her say goodbye! xox

Thinking of Carmen de Lavallade | “As I Remember It”

Carmen de Lavallade is a wonderful dancer, choreographer, and performer. I just love her, and her most recent show, “As I Remember It” – the way it was put together, the design of the projection and the set were all totally beautiful.

We filmed “As I Remember It” at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival this summer, and Carmen and her team asked me to make a promotional film because she was taking it on a full tour. Our promotional trailer wasn’t necessarily to sell tickets to the performance, but for presenters to have something to put on their websites, in their lobbies, on social media or to give to the media.

It was such a pleasure to put together this short dance film. Carmen is very engaging. She’s extremely likable on stage, because she’s just completely real. And she’s pretty much mesmerizing to watch. The way that she moves about space makes you feel like she’s dancing, even when she’s not performing dance moves. Carmen de Lavallade just exudes dance.

The thing I thought was incredible about “As I Remember It” is how they designed the projection on stage. It was completely brilliant. The way that she integrated the project – I felt like it was a live performance of a documentary film.

I’m thinking of Carmen, especially this week, since I heard of her husband Geoffrey Holder’s passing. I didn’t have the chance to work with him, but he was such a presence. She is in my thoughts, and I’m sending many hugs and much love. If you want to leave your condolences for Carmen, you can visit her website: www.carmendelavallade.com/contact

October 10, 2014 - 2:57 am

Carolyn Dorfman - Carmen is an inspiration to us all. Your work is beautiful Nel and you captured her in her utmost beauty and depth. I have been honored to have her coach my dancers in the studio and to have breakfast in a cafe. I too think of her and both her sadness of loss and joy a lives traveled together. I sit in awe as I watched your video. Bravo Carmen. Sending love and warm hugs.

Lindsay Nelko’s “Awakening” at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater

We were excited when Lindsay Nelko approached us for a promotional video showcasing her New York City production of “Awakening” at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater! Lindsay is a young Canadian choreographer whose career is really starting to take off; you may have seen her on TV as a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance. It’s always been a dream of hers to make a full length work and show it in NYC, and now that dream has come true!

Because Lindsay was only in New York City for a limited time, she was able to work with her dancers for just a few short weeks before the performance. We filmed some of those precious hours in the studio, and a few interviews with the dancers, to create something that would promote her upcoming show. Our team had only a few days to create and edit this promotional video so Lindsay could get it out into the world before the show and boost ticket sales.

It was a really fun project and her dancers looked incredible! Jessica Ray did a great job editing!


Buglisi Dance Theatre | Tune into the Live-Stream on 9/11

#5. Table of Silence Arms Raised on Revson Fountain live stream Photo by Terri Gold

Table of Silence; Photo by Terri Gold

Every year, on September 11, Buglisi Dance Theatre offers audiences a chance to reflect and remember 9/11 with a special outdoor performance at Lincoln Center in New York City.

It has been a privilege to work with choreographer Jacque Buglisi for the past four years, to capture this beautiful tribute on film, and to also live-stream its performance for viewers all over the world.

The Table of Silence Project 9/11 is a free, public tribute and ritual for peace featuring 100+ dancers on September 11, 8:15-8:46 am EDT. A moving meditation, this dance offers peace in wake of tragedy. It is moving and beautiful and important.

This year, if you are unable to join us in person at Lincoln Center, I hope you’ll join us from work or from home. You can come back here and tune in below or visit the YouTube link directly. The live-stream is sponsored by TenduTV.



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