Photographing Ballet BC at Jacob’s Pillow


Racheal Prince, Connor Gnam, Emily Chessa, and Gilbert Small of Ballet BC in Twenty Eight Thousand Waves


Darren Devaney, Alexis Fletcher, and Gilbert Small of Ballet BC in Twenty Eight Thousand Waves


Peter Smida and Emily Chessa of Ballet BC in Twenty Eight Thousand Waves

Ballet BC is at the Ted Shawn Theatre during opening week at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and I am photographing them for the second time. They performed one piece in costume during the dress rehearsal I photographed, and it showcased the sheer intensity of the company’s dancers.

Ballet BC has really top-level dancers who are wonderful to watch. Even when they were marking through a few things before the dress run began, they just articulated every little thing through their bodies. It’s a wonderful quality to photograph. The first half of the dance I captured was challenging due to dark lighting onstage; the second half was challenging because I had to keep up with these killer dancers.

First Time Photographing New York Theatre Ballet


Steven Melendez, Michael Wells, Dan Renkin, and Mitchell Kilby of New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella

I’ve never worked with New York Theatre Ballet company before. I’ve photographed the school’s young dancers, though, and I was excited to be able to work with Diana Byer for their production of Cinderella at the Pillow this week. The costumes stood out and were fantastic. It’s a very theatrical ballet. My daughter’s going this weekend, and I know she’s going to love it.


Carmella Lauer and Dan Renkin of New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella


Steven Melendez and Elena Zahlmann of New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella


Mayu Oguri, Rie Ogura, Amanda Treiber, Michael Wells, and Mitchell Kilby of New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella


The Expansion at Blake’s Barn & Norton Owen’s 40th Year


Ella Baff, Norton Owen & Chairman of the Board Mark Levitt

During opening week we also celebrated the brand new, and beautiful, expansion at Blake’s Barn, where the Pillow keeps its archives and exhibits work by different artists each summer.


Steven Melendez, Choong Hoon Lee & Amanda Treiber in Trio Con Brio

That night, New York Theatre Ballet recreated and performed an Antony Tudor ballet – Trio Con Brio. It was the first time the work was performed at Jacob’s Pillow since 1952. All in honor of the expansion of the barn and in celebration of Director of Preservation Norton Owen’s 40th anniversary at the Pillow. The Pillow surprised Norton by naming part of the barn the Norton Owen Reading Room, which was really special.


Norton Owen


Ballet Dancers at Jacob’s Pillow

Part of the summer at Jacob’s Pillow is giving incredibly talented young dancers a world-class dance education experience. Programs last 2-3 weeks and span different dance disciplines. The summer always kicks off with ballet, and I had fun photographing my first dance portraits of the summer with two beautiful ballet students Anisa Scott & Alvaro Montelongo Ali Modad. Gracious Anisa delighted my daughter G by dancing with her on the trampoline.


Anisa Scott


Anisa Scott & Alvaro Montelongo Ali Modad


Anisa Scott & Alvaro Montelongo Ali Modad


Anisa Scott & Alvaro Montelongo Ali Modad


Anisa Scott


Anisa Scott & G

Pictured in this post: Ballet BC, New York Theatre Ballet, Ella Baff, Norton Owen, Anisa Scott & Alvaro Montelongo Ali Modad & Gracie

Christopher Duggan and Nel Shelby, Manhattan-based husband and wife team, make photos & video with dance artists every summer at Jacob’s Pillow.

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