by Christopher Duggan
My wife Nel Shelby, a dance videographer, and I have been coming into rehearsals with longtime New York City Ballet dancer and international ballet superstar Wendy Whelan as she creates work with choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), Joshua Beamish (MOVE: the company), Brian Brooks (Brian Brooks Moving Company) and Kyle Abraham (Abraham.In.Motion), and we’re over the moon about filming and photographing behind-the-scenes moments to preserve and promote these amazing collaborations.
After years of photographing and filming performances and rehearsals, Nel and I believe in the power of great dance documentation, but nothing compares to seeing Wendy Whelan perform live. She is captivating, enthralling, alluring – I just can’t describe how I feel when I watch her dance. It’s simply incredible.
When the artists showed what they’ve been working on to an audience at the Guggenheim’s Works & Process performance series this month, I was photographing and Nel was filming. When the show came to a close, I looked over at Nel and she was crying.
There’s just something about Wendy.
Contributor Christopher Duggan is the founder and principal photographer of Christopher Duggan Photography, a New York City-based wedding and dance photography studio. Duggan has been the Festival Photographer for Jacob’s Pillow Dance since 2006. In this capacity, and as a respected New York-based dance photographer, he has worked with renowned choreographers and performers of international acclaim as well as upstarts in the city’s diverse performance scene.
He has created studio shots of Gallim Dance, Skybetter + Associates and Zvidance, among others, and in 2011 alone, he has photographed WestFest at Cunningham Studios, Dance From the Heart for Dancers Responding to Aids, The Gotham Dance Festival at The Joyce Theater, and assisted Nel Shelby Productions in filming Vail International Dance Festival.
Duggan often teams up with his talented wife and Pillow videographer Nel Shelby (http://nelshelby.com). A New York City-based husband and wife dance documentation team, they are equipped to document performances, create and edit marketing videos and choreography reels, and much more.
Christopher Duggan Photography also covers Manhattan’s finest wedding venues, the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, and frequently travels to destination weddings. The company’s mission is straightforward and heartfelt – create timeless, memorable images of brides, grooms, their families and friends, and capture special moments of shared love, laughter and joy.
His photographs appear in The New York Times, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, Munaluchi Bridal, and Bride & Bloom, among other esteemed publications and popular wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s celebrated photography collection in 2010. His company has been selected for inclusion in “The Listings” in New York Weddings magazine.