When I double majored in dance and broadcast video, I had no idea where it would lead. Now, when I sit in a dark theater watching dance, trying to type as many notes as possible into my iPhone, I pinch myself and wonder if there's any place I'd rather be. (The answer is NO!)
Whenever I walk into a theater, it feels like home. Whether it's midtown Manhattan, Vail, Colorado, or Becket, Massachusetts, each and every day I am inspired by the work that I do.
More than anything, I want artists to have beautiful video to showcase their work so they can book more performances and keep sharing what they do best. In the past 10 years, I've filmed more than 800 performances, produced and directed documentaries and short films, created video for apps and marketing films for nonprofits.
I happily work with my husband, Christopher Duggan, an amazing photographer. Together we've proven that you can work together and raise two kids! We're so glad our daughter Gracie and son Jack are growing up in the dance world.
Next week is OPENING WEEK at Vail International Dance Festival!! I’m excited to head back to Colorado to film the creation of new works and beautiful performances on their outdoor stage in the mountains. We edit behind-the-scenes and dance performance footage to create videos for you to get a look inside the festival. Stay tuned, because I’ll be sharing my favorites here and on Facebook and Twitter!
Vail International Dance Festival just shared the short behind-the-scenes dance film we made last summer with newlyweds Tiler Peck & Robbie Fairchild of New York City Ballet. Their dogs even make a cameo! Enjoy!
Tiler & Robbie discuss their relationship and what it’s like to dance together
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, you never cease to amaze me. After 12 summers here I’m still inspired by your beauty and the richness you have to offer. Bumping into dancers that just performed, watching a film that inspires me or running from one show to the next. So glad I get to make sure we capture it all for the archives and for many to enjoy in the future what is happening NOW.
This week’s incredible performances by New York City Ballet dancers in Daniel Ulbricht/BALLET 2014 and phenomenal tap dancers and musicians in Michelle Dorrance/Dorrance Dance’s shows were followed by excellent Post-Show Talks as always. Tune in here.
I have worked with Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company for almost a decade now, I continue to be inspired by her work and her dancers – she brings so much feeling to what she does.
We filmed Carolyn Dorfman’s work Interior Designs a few different times in three different spaces. The work speaks for itself – but the company does a great job of explaining it in detail: “Interior Designs is a collaboration between Dorfman and other accomplished women artists, incorporating a commissioned score, original video projections and video mapping and integrated lighting and costume designs. In Interior Designs, the entire theater becomes the stage as Dorfman and her collaborators create an immersive environment that reveals the internal and external worlds of both performer and spectator.”
The work is the perfect blend of beautiful dancing and artistic projection. I love how Carolyn utilizes the whole space. For Nel Shelby Productions, it was a challenge to get this across through the two-dimensional medium of dance video. It’s a beautiful work, and we were happy how the promotional video came out.
Dance Theatre of Harlem; photo by Christopher Duggan at Jacob's Pillow
My husband Christopher summed it up perfectly this week on his blog post with photos of the companies’ performances: “It’s always fun to work with artists that we have relationships with. It’s great to see the breadth of an artist’s work and have that kind of ongoing, friendly relationship. I think our close relationships with artists is mutually beneficial, because we have a deeper insight into what they do and that insight is reflected in the photos and video we produce.”
Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group; photo by Christopher Duggan at Jacob's Pillow
The more we are familiar with a dance company’s work, the more creative we can be in our documentation of it. The more we know the choreographer and dancers, the more ideas we have for conveying their spirit in promo videos and highlight reels and documentary films… These are always things we strive for with every dance video client – but it’s been a real blessing to have many clients who we work with on a regular basis, really getting to know them and their work on a deeper level.
Speaking of getting to know a dance company…that’s why you’re here! Enjoy this week’s Jacob’s Pillow Post-Show Talks created by my phenomenal Jacob’s Pillow Dance video team!
Dance Theatre of Harlem Post-Show Talk with Scholar in Residence Nancy Wozny
Reggie Wilson Post-Show Talk with Scholar in Residence Maura Keefe
Nel Shelby and Christopher Duggan are a Manhattan-based husband and wife team, making photos & video with dance artists every summer at Jacob’s Pillow. Subscribe to Nel’s email for new dance videos and video tips every other week.