Budget for Dance Video when you start your next Choreographic Project

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Video Tip

We’ve heard from artists that having quality documentation of their work is becoming increasingly important.

The pandemic limited the opportunities available to showcase your work in public. And yet, we know that continued artists’ funding and future work depends on the quality of the documentation of your choreography, whether it be for grant proposals, residency applications, grad school applications, or whatever other next steps are important in your careers.

Plus, in the age of social media and streaming, your work can potentially reach the largest audience and make the biggest impact through the video itself vs. live performances. 

As one client said to us: “Crazy, but true!”

It’s more crucial than ever that video documentation of your dances is as good as it possibly can be. So we are encouraging everyone to include a budget for video documentation in their planning for every work.

Our team understands the struggles of the arts economy, and we want all of your collaborators to be paid fairly for their contributions to your work — dancers, lighting designers, composers, dramaturgs, videographers, and all of your other important collaborators. We know it’s challenging, but budgeting from the beginning for all components, including video, might help…

Your investment in video services from Nel Shelby Productions is not only an investment in your work, but also in the performing arts at large (in our case, specifically in the dance field). We’re a team made up of artists and dancers just like you.

We are supporting the arts both through documenting artists’ work really well and helping promote the work (so that artists get more funding!) and also by giving sustainable work to our team of artists.

Our fees go to working artists themselves (which is different from working with a video production company that isn’t personally invested in the field of dance and the performing arts ecology at large).

Ballez at The Joyce Theater; photo Christopher Duggan; Video Nel Shelby Productions

We hold the intention to feed and bolster the performing arts community through our work. We are truly invested, long term, in the well-being of the performing arts.

All this to say, we are a video team that is 100% pro-dancer!

Finally, one more little idea as you plan for your next choreographic project… include a plan to gift high-quality video to your dancers! They also need documentation for their own professional advancement, and providing footage of their performance is a great way to support them in their individual careers.

Nel Shelby is Owner & Filmmaker for Nel Shelby Productions, her New York City-based company dedicated to dance videography and editing. Nel shares her mission to preserve and promote the art of dance with her husband, Christopher Duggan, a dance and wedding photographer. They collaborate on projects with dance companies of worldwide renown, up-and-coming choreographers, dance educators, dance schools and more. Nel is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance Festival and is also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.