I was especially excited for Week 6 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival because Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks returned to the Pillow to perform Some of a Thousand Words. In 2013, I created four short dance films that showed behind-the-scenes footage of Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature. Restless Creature was born out of a collaboration between Wendy & Brian that I first filmed at Vail International Dance Festival – a duet called First Fall. 

I’ve loved being present for the creation and rehearsal of some of this beautiful work right from the beginning. I’ve seen it change and grow and transform. The artistic process is so beautiful!!

I’m back at Vail Dance this week, watching and filming more inspiring collaborations. Follow me on Instagram for video from Vail! 

Choreographer/performer Brian Brooks, performer Wendy Whelan, and musician Colin Jacobsen, in conversation with Jacob’s Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe.

“Like First Fall… it was one of the most nerve wracking things I have ever done in my entire life … I was petrified. And I can say the same thing about this solo. I remember having a breakdown with Brian… “I can’t take another combination… can’t you make something easy?” And Brian said, ‘You know, I just see so much lazy choreography, that I can’t. No, I’m sorry.’ And I was like, I love this guy, and I love that he pushed me, and I love what he gave me in that solo. I cherish it, actually.”

Wendy Whelan

Nel Shelby is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and 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 also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.

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