100% Tribute to Joseph Pilates

Glaucia Adriana in Mönchengladbach, January 2016

Glaucia, you are one of the producers of the movie “Tribute to Joseph Pilates”. For one year you were touring the world, visiting the most important places of Joe’s life and talking to so many experts of Pilates and Pilates history! Why did you decide to spend so much of your time and energy on a project about Joseph Pilates?

Glaucia: Yes Eva, I’m one the producers alongside with the Voll Group owners, Rafael Juliano and his partners, Henrique Wolf and Vinicius Machado. The idea came from Rafael, during a conversation we were having regarding Pilates and its scenario in the world and how people, even professionals in the field were leaving the roots and the history of the Method behind. I was enchanted by the idea of producing a documentary, but to tell you the truth I never thought it would be so amazingly well done, as it turned out to be. I’m also a studio owner and an educator, and the more I traveled to different countries the more I could see the History being left behind. When you don’t know where you came from, your roots, then you can easily loose track of what makes sense in this work, then you start inventing “new things” and calling it Pilates. I think that getting to know the History, getting to know what Joseph really wanted to accomplish with his Method can help us step back a little and maybe, start thinking twice before calling any movement we invent “Pilates”, but more than that, the general public will definitely be able to fall in love with Pilates, even if they have never had a lesson in life.

You were speaking with so many legends and important people of the Pilates world! Lolita San Miguel, Mary Bowen, Mari Winsor, Elizabeth Larkam, Brooke Siler, Kathi Ross Nash, Ken Endelman – just to mention a few. How did you do that? How did you get access to these busy people?

Glaucia: Well, I’m still thrilled that so many people got on board and trust us enough to be part of this project. It was done in baby steps, I sent each invitation one by one. And the first thing I made sure to tell each of of them is that this movie would not promote brands, schools, approaches or anything else other than Joseph Pilates himself.


Do you remember all the places you visited for the movie? Can you name the most important and maybe tell us why you went there?

Glaucia: I remember, I think I do, the most important ones were NY and Mönchengladbach, no doubt about it. NY because it was the place where I did all my research prior to start the footages, and Mönchengladbach because we had access to all the Archival Material, and amazing details about Joseph’s previous life before immigrating to America. I can’t forget to mention Denver as well, where we were able to film during the PMA Conference, therefore getting to insert many of the big names of the industry in the documentary.

During all your research, travel and interviews: Was there a personal highlight for you? Maybe a moment when you felt especially close to Joseph Pilates?

Glaucia: Wow, that is a very hard question. There were many many moments that I felt this way. But if I need to choose one moment, I would say it was during the interview with John Steel, mainly because he was the only person to really talk about Joe’s death, and to be personally close enough to him, to really describe very interesting facts. I remember that Mary Bowen was also listening to his interview. After we finished his interview, I interviewed Mary Bowen, and he was there during the whole time, also listening to Mary. When I finally finished Mary’s interview, and the crew was getting ready to leave, I stayed there for more than 1 hour, just talking to John, I was not interviewing him anymore, but we kept talking about Joseph for hours to come. But I can’t just ignore the fact that most of the interviews we’ve made changed me personally and professionally in so many ways that I can’t even describe.

From left to right: John Steele, Mary Bowen and Glaucia Adriana at the PMA meeting in Denver

You knew very much about Joseph Pilates and his life already when you started this project. Can you tell us, if you came across information about him that really surprised you?

Glaucia: I thought I knew about him, but after reading the 2 biographies available, and having your biography specially guiding me during this process now I can really say that I know the man behind the Method, not only the eccentric German that immigrated to America to open his first Studio. What really surprised me was his drive to accomplish something, I knew he wanted to be a hit, he wanted his Method to be around the world, but I had never seen how focused he was, how insanely intelligent and clever he was, and mainly his skills for marketing in the 30ies, 40ies …it’s still blowing me away when I start reading his articles. So his drive and sureness that his Method would somehow change the world – that’s what really surprised me.

After you have worked so much for one year (I know that you didn’t get much sleep during the last weeks of editing the movie) – was it worth it? Would you do it again?

Glaucia: It was more than a year actually, we started to organize all the details almost 2 years ago. So there was much work besides the interviews, I mean, I don’t know how we did it, really. It was worthy for sure, I never thought not even in my wildest dreams that the final result would be so good as I think it was. When you do something that you really love, and you put 100% of yourself in it, I think you are ready for everything that comes out of it… meaning, I know there will be criticism, but I’m so happy and thrilled with what we accomplished that critics of any kind can’t reach me, can’t bother me. We did what we did out of passion, and to honor Joseph, and I think we did it well. At least I can speak for myself, I would have done it exactly the same, if I was to start all over again…I would just maybe balance more my life, and sleep a little more during this process.

One last question: During the interviews for the movie you asked every one, what they would say, if they had a chance to speak to Joseph Pilates personally. What about you? Is there anything you would like to say to him or ask him?

Glaucia: You know I did answer this question, the crew made an interview with me, a surprise interview, that was supposed to be inserted in the movie, but I didn’t make my own cut, can you believe it? I didn’t see a reason for me to be in the Movie, not this time, not now, maybe in some DVD with extras in the future. But I can’t even remember what I answered in the interview. But I can tell you that if I had the chance to meet to Joe and talk to him I would ask him so many questions, I would definitely need to spend hours talking to him. First I would thank him! Without even knowing he’s been changing the lives of so many people around the world: Every time a client comes to my studio and leaves feeling better than when he first came in, it’s because of Joe that this has happened. I would ask him, if what he is seeing today, with his Method being taught with so many versions around the world, some very good approaches and others not so good, but if it’s really what he wanted to accomplish with the Method? I would bring him to a Pilates Studio, and ask him: what kind of apparatus would he invent today having all this technology in our favor to built pretty much what we envision to build!

Thank you so much, Glaucia, for your answers! It was great for me to learn more about your experiences during the making of the movie! Thank you for your time and that you gave so much to create this wonderful Tribute to Joseph Pilates! 

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