Contemporary dance artist Adam H. Weinert has an especially deep relationship with Jacob’s Pillow, having experienced it as a student of the School, an instructor of dance classes, a research fellow, and as a Festival artist (you may have seen him gracefully leaping across our Festival 2016 program cover!). His time studying the work of Pillow founder Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers aided him in planning his perfect Pillow day, full of history, nature, and dance.


A Day in the Life of The Men Dancers

Ted Shawn & His Men Dancers; photo Shapiro Studios.

For me, the magic of Jacob’s Pillow stems from its history. Built by the founding members of the resident dance company, Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers, the festival has become one of the world’s oldest and most beloved. I’ve spent many weeks at the Pillow reconstructing the dances and training practices created here in the 1930s and it is thrilling to discover how little has changed.

Below is an itinerary taken from a first-hand account of the earliest days at the Pillow. I recommend anyone visiting the Pillow take some time to retrace their steps.

7-8 am: Breakfast.

8-9 am: Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers began their day with a technique class. You can too by showing up for an open-level community class in the Ruth St. Denis studio.

10 am-noon: The first rehearsal of the day. Get inspired by observing students of The School at Jacob’s Pillow dance and practice.

Noon-2 pm: Lunch in the nude. The early dancers would use this as an opportunity to get their tan on while listening to Shawn read from his favorite authors ranging from Goethe to Groucho Marx. Today, unfortunately, clothing is required on the Jacob’s Pillow campus, but you can take off your shoes (at least), bring a book, and take a moment to feel the sun on your skin.

2-5 pm: Afternoons were typically spent outside rehearsing or working on the farm. Nature played a significant role in Shawn’s creative process and physical training regimen. The dancers built the barns, grew their own food and often performed outdoors. I recommend using this time to walk the grounds and enjoy the splendor of the Berkshires in the summer time.

5-6 pm: Shower, rest, and social hour.

6-7 pm: Bring a picnic to the outdoor stage, or dine at one of the on-campus dining facilities.

8 pm: Showtime. Take in a performance and don’t forget to grab a drink and mingle with the performers afterwards at The Barre at Haven at The Pillow.


Adam H. Weinert performed in MONUMENT, which combines beautifully revived works by legends of modern dance with original contemporary choreography; presented in the Doris Duke Theatre, Festival 2016.

Adam's Picks


The Jacob’s Pillow Archives document the history of the Festival and School and the artists who have taken part in these activities, with particular emphasis on Ted Shawn, Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers, and the Denishawn Company.

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Observation Schedule

The public is invited to observe dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow in classes and rehearsals as they work with world-renowned artist faculty.

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Free Outdoor “Inside/Out” Performances

Bring family and friends of all ages to the Inside/Out series, offering free outdoor performances by emerging and established dance companies and presentations by dancers of The School at Jacob's Pillow every Wednesday through Saturday at 6:15pm during the Festival.

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