Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2022: Dance Video & Photography Recap

by | Sep 1, 2022 | Dance Film, Performance Video | 1 comment

This post was co-written by Nel Shelby & Christopher Duggan

Daniel Huang, Mason Chapello, Taylor Hutchison, Jamie Kraus, Michelina Risbeck, Danica Paulos, Nel Shelby, and Christopher Duggan; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2022.

We are feeling very grateful for the summer.

As the Pillow’s Director of Media, Nel is responsible for ensuring that our full photography and film crew is organized and efficient, documenting and creating video and photos that represent all that Jacob’s Pillow has to offer. We plan ahead and capture in-the-moment — we’re preserving dance history, and we’re also making marketing assets and prepping digital streams… This summer had a special energy. It was the 90th Anniversary Season, and it was the first season where events did not get scaled back due to the pandemic. It was full, busy, stressful, exciting… We made so many changes to how we work together during the Festival, and even through challenges, there was so much happiness on the NSP team.


Happiness and gratitude!!

Filming & Photographing Every Performance

I like to think of NSP as a holistic video production company. Our media team needed to consider every angle for every performance, class, and event we filmed and photographed:

  • How are we filming this for the Jacob’s Pillow Archives?
  • Are we editing a short clip for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive?
  • What photos are needed for the press? For social media?
  • Are we making any creative portraits to use for marketing in the future?
  • Are we live-mixing and producing this performance for future digital broadcast?
  • What kind of behind-the-scenes footage do we need?
  • What footage will we want when we’re editing promotional videos later?
  • Are we capturing any interviews with the artists?
  • How are we filming and editing Post-Show Talks?
  • Do we need any vertical footage for Instagram or TikTok?

We’ll give you a little taste below, but you’ll see even more of what we created in the Fall! 😉

Post-Show Talk featuring four members of the SW!NG OUT Braintrust: Director/Dancer Caleb Teicher, Band Leader/Musician Eyal Vilner, Dancer Nathan Bugh, and Dancer LaTasha Barnes, moderated by Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Melanie George

SW!NG OUT; photos Christopher Duggan

Click above to see a social media video we made the week of the performances 👆

A Triumphant Performance by Miami City Ballet

There were some stand-out moments throughout this year’s Festival, and our final week wih Miami City Ballet was special for many reasons. For one thing, it was the first time George Balanchine’s Serenade could be performed at Jacob’s Pillow, because the newly renovated Ted Shawn Theatre could accommodate live music in the new orchestra pit.

They also performed a Martha Graham piece, Diversion of Angels, and it really took Christopher’s breath away. Cameron Catazaro is a dancer Christopher worked with when he was at Ballet Academy East in high school. When the curtain opened and he was centerstage, and we were totally wowed by him! Christopher had reached out to just three dancers in the company before they arrived, hoping to make creative portraits, and all three of them (including Cameron) were dancing featured roles in Diversion of Angels. That coincidence, on top of the gorgeous, BOLD costumes and their exquisite dancing just really made for an incredible experience.

Christopher was able to chat in the theater with Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez directly after they ran Diversion of Angels.  He asked her if it would be possible to make portraits with the dancers in costume outside in the Tea Garden and she loved the idea.

The next day we made it happen!! 👇

Miami City Ballet; photos Christopher Duggan

There were so many highlights this summer, it’s hard to choose what to share with you!

We hope you also follow us on Instagram, so you can scroll through all these special moments, films and photos: @nelshelby & @cdugganphoto

Christopher Duggan is Nel’s husband! He has been the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival photographer since 2006, photographer for Vail Dance since 2021, and has photographed many world-renowned dance companies during his career. This summer, Christopher’s work is on exhibition in Blake’s Barn at Jacob’s Pillow, in an installation called: “Now & Then: Evocative Dance Portraits by Christopher Duggan.” You can also find Christopher behind-the-video-camera and operating our drone at Nel Shelby Productions. NSP always offers photography as part of our dance services, because we believe dance photography is an essential part of our media toolkit. That includes photographing live performance, in-rehearsal creative processes, and creative portrait shoots. You can learn more about the depth and breadth of Christopher’s dance photography here.