Photographing the Joffrey Ballet

September 4, 2012
Huffington Post
Christopher Duggan


Last week marked the end of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s 80th Anniversary, and I found myself scrambling from one dress rehearsal to the other trying to squeeze in documentation of both main stage performances. I was so excited/nostalgic about the fact that this is the last week of the summer, and I wanted to capture it all.

This idea is amplified at Jacob’s Pillow where world-renowned companies perform on a world stage. It’s a big deal to premiere work at the Pillow. All eyes are here. I knew the company wanted approval of the images before they were given to the press, so I wanted to be sure I delivered both quality and quantity. I made a larger number of photographs than I typically do at dress rehearsal, and prepared and edited the photos for use within hours. It’s a lot of pressure to photograph for press use, but it’s something I’ve grown used to in the fast-paced world of performance documentation.

I had a great time with The Joffrey. The dancers were so talented, and the tutus in Stanton Welch’s new work were exquisite and especially fun to photograph.