Live With Jacob’s Pillow’s Marketing Director | Video Tip

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Video Tip

Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers in Dance of the Ages (1939). Photo by: John Lindquist, Copyright Harvard Theatre Collection

I recently went live with the Director of Marketing at Jacob’s Pillow!

Christopher and I were at the Pillow filming a special behind-the-scenes documentary-style video of Adam Weinert’s reconstruction of Ted Shawn’s iconic piece Dance of the Ages. Right after dress rehearsal, I hopped on Facebook Live to talk all-things marketing with Abby Wood.

The 80th Anniversary of Ted Shawn’s Dance of the Ages is coming up. It originally premiered in 1938! So many special elements are going into this special celebration: Norton Owen (Director of Preservation) is recreating the programs – he’s typing everything on his type writer to replicate what the programs used to look like, the Production Team is working on bringing historical elements into the costumes, the studios and tea garden will be set up the exact same way they used to be when Ted Shawn would premiere work and Adam Weinert and his company are actually reconstructing the work!

It is going to be amazing!!!

Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers in Dance of the Ages (1938). Photo by: Shapiro Studios

Abby and I have been working together for 3 years now. The way we work together to create videos to market the Festival has evolved into something more meaningful than just selling tickets.

When Abby asked Christopher and I to come and film this special show, the goal wasn’t to sell out, but instead to tell a story. We have shifted the way we create video – from making purely promotional videos to using video as a way of storytelling about the Pillow and the dances that come to life there. You know firsthand how much I enjoy making those special behind-the-scenes videos for the Pillow!!!

Here are some questions I asked Abby during our Facebook Live. Enjoy the entire video above, then had over to my Facebook page to find more from this summer!

Q: Why did you think that it was important to make a behind-the-scenes video of Adam Weinert’s reconstruction of Dance of the Ages?

A: We’ve been making these behind-the-scenes videos for the past couple of summers now. When this particular show came along, it was natural for me to say, “We have to do that.” It is going to be so cool. It’s so important to document this.

Q: Have people responded to our behind-the-scenes videos? Why is it important that we continue to make them?

A: We’ve been doing more and more behind-the-scenes videos simply because people just want to see them. There are people on social media who can’t be at the Festival in person – people who might not have ever physically been here – who want to know what it’s like to put on production here, create a work here, or just be here in general.

Q: What is your intention with these videos? Is it to sell tickets and fill seats? Is it more than that?

A: Our intention is engagement. We want to be able to bring people to the Pillow through video. We want them feel like they’re a part of the Festival even if they’re in a different part of the world.

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.