Talking dance video at Dance/NYC Symposium, photo by Christopher Duggan

A snazzy State of NYC Dance report

It was my absolute pleasure to film the great discussions at this year’s Dance/NYC Symposium at Gibney Dance Center on Sunday. There are many ways the dance field is changing. There are new ways to communicate and share our work. There are new structures for companies to consider and new platforms and models to support more sustainable practices.

And there are new expectations, too.

Talking dance video at Dance/NYC Symposium, photo by Christopher Duggan

Lane Harwell with inspiring opening remarks

One conversation that inspired me was the “Digital & Media Space” panel with Elizabeth Scott (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), Norton Owen (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival), Erik Gensler (Capacity Interactive) and Ellen Bar (New York City Ballet). It’s clear the need for high-quality video that showcases your choreography and performance is greater than ever.

The NEA is now only receiving grant applications online. Doug Sonntag said work samples are more important than they’ve ever been in submitting successful grants. Marketing professionals know that regular video content is a fantastic way to engage with online audiences, which include both loyal and potential real-life audience members and donors. But the cost of obtaining and creating high-quality dance video is many times too expensive for young and emerging artists.

Talking dance video at Dance/NYC Symposium, photo by Christopher Duggan

The absolutely lovely Maria Bauman leading an Urban Bush Women workshop: Entering, Building, Exiting Community

I hear that, and I want to help. I’ve been toying with the idea of creating webinars about dance video for a while now, and I’m looking for your help in creating something that will really make a difference. What are your sticking points when it comes to video? Do you just need to figure out which camera to use? Are you looking for technical guides for the best output and settings for Vimeo and YouTube? Do you need help determining what type of content to include in your choreography reel or promotional performance video?

Talking dance video at Dance/NYC Symposium, photo by Christopher Duggan

Monica Bill Barnes, Ken Maldonado & Joseph Melillo discuss touring

It was clear at the Dance/NYC Symposium, that we want to help one another. It’s inspiring to see so many minds coming together to talk through challenges and keep dance alive in New York City and the world beyond.

I want to offer my video expertise. What do you need to know?

Please comment or write me at and let me know what you need as I brainstorm for solutions to help the field.

all photos by my talented husband, Christopher Duggan

PS: The Dance/NYC footage will be available for viewing online soon. I’ll be sure to let you know when to tune in!

Nel Shelby Dance Videographer in Action


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