Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, MA
Pilates at the Pillow™ is a three day conference for Pilates teachers at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and at Joe’s original studio in Becket, MA. Joseph Pilates taught his method at the famous dancer’s camp many summers throughout the 40s and 50s. Sponsored by Rhinebeck Pilates and with the generosity of Sean Gallagher, owner of Joe’s original archives and property, the event was truly a historic one as teachers from all over the world including Greece, Iceland, Mexico, Bahamas, Bel- gium, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and even the Isle of Man had a chance to soak in the atmosphere of one of Joseph Pilates’ favorite places. Living on site in newly built single rooms, participants could experience what it must have been like for those dancers long ago who spent their summers practicing dance and more importantly to us, exercising with Joseph Pilates himself. Norton Owen, director of preservation at the Pillow, gave a lecture about the history of the Pillow, Joe’s part in it and shared memories and experiences from dancers who had studied with Joe.
Every morning began with Sean Gallagher teaching Pilates 34 in 34™ – a 34- minute mat class based on notes from a dancer who took Joe’s mat classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Participants gained new insight in how Joe might have taught group classes because there were definitely a few sur- prises such as the order of exercises or how she described Joe’s cueing. Attendees had the unique opportunity to visit Joseph Pilates’ original Berk- shires property and participate in a Resister™ workshop at Joe’s studio on the property. They were in awe to be in the same room with many artifacts that previously had only been seen in pho- tos of Joe’s NYC studio. Many of the photographs of famous clients we see in that famous picture of Joe and Clara in their NYC studio were in the Berkshire studio. Attendees were able to see his original apparatus, his belongings and tools, including a cabinet left just as it had been 50 years ago filled with Joe’s springs and other hardware. Attendees couldn’t believe their luck when each had the chance to try out Joe’s original Bednasium which had been found in the studio and restored by Elaine
Ewing and Holly Quaglia Wells.
Full text available in 'The Show Must Go On'