Wendy Whelan – A National Treasure

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by Christopher Duggan

There’s just something about Wendy.

I never really had such all-access permission to follow such a star here on campus at Jacob’s Pillow. Wendy let me in her dressing room and while warming up in the Bakalar Studio, allowed me to photograph her performance from backstage…and always with a smile. She’s easy to work with and really trusted me. I was grateful for the whole experience.

Ella Baff introduced her before every performance as a National Treasure, and that’s the perfect description. There’s a reason she’s a superstar. She is just captivating.
My wife Nel was featured in a PillowTalk titled “The Art of Promotion,” focused on using film to promote dance. Wendy made a cameo appearance at the talk, and you can see the affinity they have for one another. They have tremendous respect for each other and it has been a wonderful collaboration.
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It was a fun week for me, and I wanted to make these images as a gift for Wendy – to commemorate such a momentous and important engagement for her.

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.

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

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.

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Catherine L. Tully is the owner/editor at 4dancers.org. To learn more about Catherine and the other contributors at 4dancers, see the "Contributor" tab at the top of the page. To reach Catherine, send an e-mail to info (at) 4dancers (dot) org

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