by Nel Shelby
I’m amazed by Sumi Clements and Taryn Vander Hoop of Summation Dance. I started filming for them when they first started their dance company, and I was blown away by how driven and organized they were off the bat. We continued to film and edit their dance videos together and formed a really wonderful working relationship. I really respect what they continue to put out there choreographically and in their ideas of how to present dance.
Their Dancing Literate Project features performances by multiple emerging or established artists, curated by Summation Dance. The program was made to offer insight into the choreographic process and provide space for the audience to engage with the companies firsthand through Q&As with leaders in the dance world, a mini-lecture on “What to Look For” in dance and a free performance and class for kids in local public schools.
Ben Richards and Ashli Bickford filmed their most recent installment of the Dancing Literate Project at Judson Memorial Church for Nel Shelby Productions. Take a look:
Contributor Nel Shelby, Founder and Principal of Nel Shelby Productions, is deeply dedicated to the preservation and promotion of dance through documentation of live performances, fully edited marketing reels, live-stream capture, and documentaries and films that encapsulate the essence of nonprofit organizations.
For the past eight years, Nel has served as Festival Videographer for the internationally celebrated Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires. Each season at the Pillow, Nel’s responsibilities include documenting aspects of festival culture in addition to its 20 mainstage dance performances, filming and overseeing documentation of more than 100 free performances and events, managing two dance videography interns and an apprentice, and educating students about the technical and philosophical aspects of filming dance.
This year, she is creating four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature. In 2012, she collaborated with Adam Barruch Dance to create a short film titled “Folie a Deux,” which was selected and screened at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York City. Nel’s videos for the New Jersey Hall of Fame were shown to an audience of 2000 people, and she is currently editing a dance documentary featuring Nejla Y. Yatkin that she filmed for three-and-a-half weeks in Central America in 2010.Nel has a long personal history with movement – she has a B.A. in dance and is a certified Pilates instructor. She continues to train with world-renowned Master Teachers Romana Krysnowska and Sari Pace, original students of Joseph Pilates. In addition to her dance degree, Nel holds a B.S. in broadcast video. She often collaborates with her wonderful husband, dance photographer (and fellow 4dancers contributor) Christopher Duggan on creative projects with dancers in New York City and beyond. They live with their beautiful daughter Gracie in Manhattan.