by Nel Shelby
Emily Schoen is a real up-and-coming star in the dance world. A dancer with Keigwin + Company, Emily was named Top 25 to Watch by Dance Magazine. She’s danced in a couple operas at the Met (with Mark Morris and Doug Varone) and even performed in the Rolling Stones 50 and Counting Tour last year. She received Gibney Dance’s bookoo grant to create and present work in Gibney Dance Center, and she was just selected as one of five emerging choreographers nationwide to create work for Met Dance in Houston, TX next summer.
She just so happens to also be Nel Shelby Productions’ awesome Project Manager for all our dance films and video editing services. We met and bonded when I was filming Nejla Y. Yatkin’s Central American tour and Emily was dancing with Nejla. It clicked that Emily could really help me with organizing my business and communicating with my growing clientele, and we’ve worked together ever since.
We just had the pleasure of filming her choreography at Gibney Dance and I thought it would be great to get her thoughts on working with us from the other side of things!
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.
Her New York City-based video production company has grown to encompass a diverse list of dance clients including American Ballet Theater II, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Gallim Dance, Gotham Arts, Kate Weare and Company, Keigwin + Company, Monica Bill Barnes Company, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Wendy Whelan and many more. She has filmed performances at venues throughout the greater New York area including The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, St. Mark’s Church and Judson Church, to name a few.
For nearly a decade, 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.
She also serves as Resident Videographer at the Vail International Dance Festival where she spent her first summer creating five short dance documentary films about the festival in addition to documenting its events and performances. Her longer-form, half-hour documentary on Vail’s festival, The Altitude of Dance, debuted on Rocky Mountain PBS in May 2013.
She has created four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature, and 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 and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She is making a dance documentary featuring Nejla Y. Yatkin, called Where Women Don’t Dance.
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 and son Jack in Manhattan.