Movers & Shapers Podcast: Nel Shelby

By December 1, 2015March 22nd, 2016Podcast


Photo: Matthew Murphy

Release Date: December 1, 2015
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Nel Shelby demonstrates her dedication to the preservation and promotion of dance through excellent documentation of live performances, the creation of smart and engaging marketing videos, and the making of original documentaries and films covering a variety of topics in the field.

Nel produced and directed PS DANCE!, an hour-long documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools, created with Jody Gottfried Arnhold and Joan Finkelstein and narrated by veteran television journalist Paula Zahn. PS DANCE! had its premiere broadcast on THIRTEEN/WNET in May 2015 and has since aired on public television networks across the country. Nel’s half-hour dance documentary featuring Nejla Y. Yatkin was filmed in Central America in 2010 and was recently screened during a PillowTalk at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Nel has also created four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature, and she collaborated with Adam Barruch Dance on a short film titled “Folie a Deux,” which was selected and screened at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York City and San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

Her New York City-based video production company, Nel Shelby Productions, has grown to encompass a diverse list of dance clients. Since 2004, 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 creates short dance documentary films and marketing videos 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.

Nel has a long personal history with movement – she has a B.F.A. in dance and is a certified Pilates instructor. In addition to her dance degree, Nel holds a B.S. in broadcast video. She lives in New York City with her husband, dance photographer Christopher Duggan, and their kids Gracie and Jack.



“Water Ballet”

Up With People

Stephens College

Séan Curran

Loretta Livingston

Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Doug Varone

Jose Limón Company

Inbal Pinto

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive

Savion Glover

Urban Bush Woman

Roxanne Butterfly

Wendy Whelan “Restless Creature”

Adam Barruch

Arvo Part

Max Richter

PS Dance! Documentary

Johannes & Jenny Holub

Christopher Duggan

Fabienne Fredrickson

Capacity Interactive

Vail International Dance Festival

NYCB Moves

American Dance Machine

Chita Rivera

Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton
Intro Music: “Singing Distance” by Elijah Aaron