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.
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.
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.
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.