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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2014 – Opening Week With The Hong Kong Ballet & Carmen De Lavallade

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by Christopher Duggan

It’s been a glorious first week back at Jacob’s Pillow in every way. Fantastic dance, beautiful sunshine and lots of making pictures. I wait all year for this and it’s finally here.

This year was my first time photographing the Pillow’s Gala in many years. It was fun to be a part of all the season opening festivities again.

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My friend John Heginbotham received the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award given to visionary artists for their creativity.

The amazing Carmen De Lavallade danced with the back barn doors of the Ted Shawn Theatre open, in my mind symbolizing the opening of the festival’s doors for all to come this summer.

A few of my Inside/Out images were included in the Gala’s silent auction, and though the auction is not officially over, I’m honored to say it looks like my dance photography brought in a few thousand dollars!

The Hong Kong Ballet is a stunning and exciting company. So many dancers. Impeccable technique. Really fun to photograph. The company only did one dance in costume for our photo call together, but it was plenty for me. I’m so glad these strong ballet dancers are opening the festival.

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It’s hard to describe photographing Ms. De Lavallade. She has such grace and dignity. She raises the bar just by walking into the room. Her show is poignant and funny, and it’s just a treat to watch such a high level of performance coming from a woman who has more than six decades of experience onstage. She holds the distinction of the longest Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival performing career on record, and made her Pillow debut with Lester Horton Dance Theatre in 1953. Just out of this world.

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Contributor Christopher Duggan is a wedding and dance photographer in New York City, the Berkshires and beyond. 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.
Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

He photographs dancers in the studio and in performance, for promotional materials, portraits and press, and he often collaborates with his wife, Nel Shelby, and her Manhattan-based dance film and video editing company Nel Shelby Productions (nelshelby.com). Together, they have documented dance at performances from New York City to Vail International Dance Festival.

Christopher Duggan Photography also covers the finest wedding venues in the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, in Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and frequently travels to destination weddings.

His photographs appear in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Knot, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, and Munaluchi Bridal, among other esteemed publications and popular dance and wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his dance photography has been exhibited at The National Museum of Dance and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

His Natural Light Studio (http://www.christopherduggan.com/portfolio/natural-light-studio-jacobs-pillow-photography/) at Jacob’s Pillow is his most ambitious photography project to date – check out his blog to see more portraits of dance artists in his pop-up photo studio on the Pillow grounds.

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance – Looking Forward To Summer 2014

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by Christopher Duggan

Every June, my wife, dance videographer Nel Shelby, and I move back into our cabin in the Berkshires to spend the summer filming and photographing the incredible artists who perform at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The Pillow’s 10-week run includes 2 new mainstage dance performances and 4 free outdoor performances on Inside/Out stage every week. We keep very busy and have a blast.

This summer, I’m excited to photograph some familiar dance companies – Doug Elkins, Dance Theatre of Harlem, LeeSaar, Mark Morris Dance Group, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Dance Heginbotham, Yin Yue Dance Company, Dorrance Dance, Trey McIntyre Project, Reggie Wilson, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet…I’ve had the pleasure of photographing all of these dance artists at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in past seasons, and they are all coming back to the Pillow this summer.

My dance photography for Jacob’s Pillow is meant to preserve these performances for years to come. The Pillow has a rich history and I love that I get to be a part of capturing it. I love photographing the artists at the Pillow so much that I started a passion project two summers ago. My Natural Light Studio is an outdoor studio where I collaborate with the dancers at the Pillow and make portraits.

I write a blog post every Friday with photos from the week’s dance performances and sneak peeks at new portraits in my Natural Light Studio. I’d love to share my photos from these 10 weeks with you. Sign up for my dance emails and you’ll get a photo and a note from me every Friday, June through August.

Here’s a look at photos we’ve made together before. I can’t wait to capture more this season.

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Contributor Christopher Duggan is a wedding and dance photographer in New York City, the Berkshires and beyond. 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.
Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

He photographs dancers in the studio and in performance, for promotional materials, portraits and press, and he often collaborates with his wife, Nel Shelby, and her Manhattan-based dance film and video editing company Nel Shelby Productions (nelshelby.com). Together, they have documented dance at performances from New York City to Vail International Dance Festival.

Christopher Duggan Photography also covers the finest wedding venues in the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, in Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and frequently travels to destination weddings.

His photographs appear in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Knot, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, and Munaluchi Bridal, among other esteemed publications and popular dance and wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his dance photography has been exhibited at The National Museum of Dance and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

His Natural Light Studio (http://www.christopherduggan.com/portfolio/natural-light-studio-jacobs-pillow-photography/) at Jacob’s Pillow is his most ambitious photography project to date – check out his blog to see more portraits of dance artists in his pop-up photo studio on the Pillow grounds.

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Summation Dance Company – Performace at BAM Fisher

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by Christopher Duggan Summation Dance is a growing company that has always wanted to work with the best quality dance photos and video. This year, I did a dance promo photo shoot with Summation in a studio in Queens as a lead-up to their performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Nel and I really appreciate that they’ve made the investment in dance photos and video, and it’s paid off. They have excellent video documentation and they are smart enough to see that having great representation of their work is how you get the next grant or the next gig. It’s how you sell your tickets, how you build your house. They are so dedicated, constantly thinking and developing; they’re just really good artists. Here’s Summation Dance at BAM Fisher.

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Contributor Christopher Duggan is a wedding and dance photographer in New York City, the Berkshires and beyond. 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.
Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

He photographs dancers in the studio and in performance, for promotional materials, portraits and press, and he often collaborates with his wife, Nel Shelby, and her Manhattan-based dance film and video editing company Nel Shelby Productions (nelshelby.com). Together, they have documented dance at performances from New York City to Vail International Dance Festival.

Christopher Duggan Photography also covers the finest wedding venues in the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, in Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and frequently travels to destination weddings.

His photographs appear in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Knot, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, and Munaluchi Bridal, among other esteemed publications and popular dance and wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his dance photography has been exhibited at The National Museum of Dance and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

His Natural Light Studio (http://www.christopherduggan.com/portfolio/natural-light-studio-jacobs-pillow-photography/) at Jacob’s Pillow is his most ambitious photography project to date – check out his blog to see more portraits of dance artists in his pop-up photo studio on the Pillow grounds.

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Finis: Ang-Yi Sheu – Studio 5 At City Center

by Christopher Duggan

Studio 5 at New York City Center is a dance event built around in-studio performances that really gives the audience an intimate look at the dances performed. Hosted and curated by Damian Woetzel, former dancer with New York City Ballet and current Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, the performances give his unique perspective on dance. His connections to the world’s most amazing talent makes the series a hidden gem in New York.

I photographed a performance in February by Fang-Yi Sheu, formerly of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and just as she was in Vail last summer, she was fantastic.

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Contributor Christopher Duggan is a wedding and dance photographer in New York City, the Berkshires and beyond. 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.
Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

He photographs dancers in the studio and in performance, for promotional materials, portraits and press, and he often collaborates with his wife, Nel Shelby, and her Manhattan-based dance film and video editing company Nel Shelby Productions (nelshelby.com). Together, they have documented dance at performances from New York City to Vail International Dance Festival.

Christopher Duggan Photography also covers the finest wedding venues in the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, in Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and frequently travels to destination weddings.

His photographs appear in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Knot, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, and Munaluchi Bridal, among other esteemed publications and popular dance and wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his dance photography has been exhibited at The National Museum of Dance and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

His Natural Light Studio (http://www.christopherduggan.com/portfolio/natural-light-studio-jacobs-pillow-photography/) at Jacob’s Pillow is his most ambitious photography project to date – check out his blog to see more portraits of dance artists in his pop-up photo studio on the Pillow grounds.

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Finis: Studio Shoot – Summation Dance Company

20140112_Summation_Christopher.Duggan_034by Christopher Duggan

Both Nel and I have been working with Sumi Clements and Taryn Vander Hoop for a few years helping them with most of their dance photography and filming for Summation Dance.

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We’re enjoying watching them grow. They’re very motivated and smart, and they really appreciate the value of excellent quality photo and video as a smart way to move their dance company forward. Summation Dance has a show coming up at BAM in Brooklyn and we wanted to have great dance images to use for promotion. Below you’ll see some more photos from our dance studio shoot.

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Contributor Christopher Duggan is a wedding and dance photographer in New York City, the Berkshires and beyond. 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.
Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

Christopher Duggan, Photo by Julia Newman

He photographs dancers in the studio and in performance, for promotional materials, portraits and press, and he often collaborates with his wife, Nel Shelby, and her Manhattan-based dance film and video editing company Nel Shelby Productions (nelshelby.com). Together, they have documented dance at performances from New York City to Vail International Dance Festival.

Christopher Duggan Photography also covers the finest wedding venues in the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, in Massachusetts and the Berkshires, and frequently travels to destination weddings.

His photographs appear in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Knot, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, and Munaluchi Bridal, among other esteemed publications and popular dance and wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his dance photography has been exhibited at The National Museum of Dance and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

His Natural Light Studio (http://www.christopherduggan.com/portfolio/natural-light-studio-jacobs-pillow-photography/) at Jacob’s Pillow is his most ambitious photography project to date – check out his blog to see more portraits of dance artists in his pop-up photo studio on the Pillow grounds.

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