Directing Next at The Kennedy Center – Ballet Hispánico on PBS

Ballet Hispánico explores Evita Perón’s diverging legacies in this invigorating and emotional work. Her rags-to-riches story is interpreted through movement – following her journey from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady and sudden death.

One of our most ambitious film projects to date! Listen to Nel share an inside look at making this film for broadcast on the Conversations on Dance podcast!

A dream project to direct…

Kennedy Center, myself and many members of my video team worked for months on this absolute dream project: a 15-camera, made-for-broadcast dance performance film for PBS! 

I directed, for film, the performance of Ballet Hispánico’s Doña Perón by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

We were filming for a series called “Next at The Kennedy Center,” to be broadcast nationally on PBS. This is the first time The Kennedy Center has ever produced a dance performance to televise for the series — other episodes have focused on music from The Roots, Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus. 

If you know my personal story, you know this is the project of a lifetime!!!

I started out as a dancer and performer, touring all over with a musical dance group when I was young, and studying dance and broadcast journalism in college. I founded Nel Shelby Productions when I moved to New York City in 2001… At first, I was pursuing a career in performance, auditioning for dance gigs on cruise ships, but I soon realized all my college dance footage was fuzzy, far away and completely unusable for applying to jobs. There was a need out there for better quality dance video, and it became my mission to make it.

22 years later, my husband keeps reminding me that “NSP knows dance.” Not only have we been around for two decades of advancements in video production and livestream possibilities, but we’re a team of former and current dancers. My videographers, editors, and even my project & marketing managers, fully understand what dance feels like, and what it’s like to be on stage.

Tune in while you still can!

The full-length performance is only available for a limited time.

Learn more about the project

I was recently interviewed by my friends at the Conversations on Dance Podcast!

In the episode, I talk to Miami City Ballet dancers and co-hosts Rebecca King Ferraro & Michael Sean Breeden about the dream project that NSP has been working on for the past few months… a 15-camera made-for-broadcast film for a series called “Next at the Kennedy Center!”

In The Editing Room with Nel Shelby Productions dance video

It’s important to understand how dance feels when you film it, and that’s something I carry with me to each film project.

All of this is why NSP was the go-to company to direct, film and edit Doña Perón for The Kennedy Center on PBS. It’s incredible to realize that what started as a mission to help individual dancers get better jobs has grown into these large-scale film projects that introduce the magic of dance and inspire audiences all over the world… 

Film Credits


Ballet Hispánico explores Evita Perón’s diverging legacies in this invigorating and emotional work by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

Executive Producer: Matthew Winter
Executive Producer: Steve Holtzman
Co-Executive Producer: Kristin Fosdick
Producer: Emeline Carlisle

Consulting Producers: Alicia Adams, Jane Raleigh
Editors: Ashli Bickford, Sunghye Jung

Director of Photography: Tony Donghyuk Yoon

Directed By: Nel Shelby

Ballet Hispánico
Special Appearances By:
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Choreographer)
Eduardo Vilaro (Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico)

Next at the Kennedy Center Concert Crew:
Assistant Director / Camera Operator Ashli Bickford
Camera Operator: Caroline Haidet
Camera Operator: Grace Swihart
Camera Operator: Mike Mintz
Camera Operator: Nate Reininga
Camera Operator: Rick Burks
Steadicam Operator: Myles Shank
Steadicam Operator: Tyler Davis
Production Assistant: William Webb
Media Manager: William Dickson
Jib Operator: Chris McCary
Jib Assist: Ron Winters
1st Assistant Camera: Evan Luzi
2nd Assistant Camera: Nick Gorey
3rd Assistant Camera: Alex Guckert
Assistant Camera Technician: Harry Oakes
Audio Recordist: Colin Egan
Assistant Camera Technician: Ben Janusz
Gaffer: Nathan Taylor
Audio Recordist: Jeremy Sheeler
Grip: Drew Loughlin