COMPANION

Marjory Barlow

Marjory Barlow (née Mechin), (1915–2006), Alexander Technique teacher, and niece to F. M. Alexander.

Life

F. M. Alexander’s sister, Amy, moved to London in 1911 and joined Alexander as his assistant. Amy married George Mechin in 1914 and their first child was Marjory. Being of weak health she moved in her teens into her uncle’s, Alexander’s, house where she helped out with housekeeping. Here she received lessons in the Technique and she joined the teachers training course on her 18th birthday, in May 1933. After her qualification in 1936 she worked as an assistant on the training course until Alexander moved, with the Little School, to the US in 1941. Marjory Barlow continued to give individual lessons during WWII while all the male teachers had been called up for military service. She married Dr Wilfred Barlow in 1940. In 1948 they moved to Albert Court in South Kensington, where they set up a teaching practice and a teachers training course. The place was known as the Alexander Clinic, and later the Alexander Institute. The training course ran (with two short interruptions) until about 1981. In 1986 they moved their teaching practice to Dance Works in Balderton Street, off Oxford Street. When Dr Barlow died in 1991 Marjory moved her teaching practice to her home. Marjory Barlow had participated in the 1st International Congress in 1986 and continued to teach at congresses and conferences, and after 1991 she had time to travel more and do more workshops for teachers. Marjory continued to teach until shortly before her death in 2006.

She always insisted on preserving Alexander’s teaching and his way of teaching.

Writings and lectures

Marjory Barlow gave the F. M. Alexander Memorial Lecture twice:

  • ‘The teaching of F. Matthias Alexander’ (1965).[1]
  • ‘The essence of F.M.’s Teaching’ (1995).[2]

She gave a lecture to the 1994 4th International Congress, Sydney, on her recollections of F. M. Alexander.[3]

Interviews

Two substantial and two shorter interviews with Marjory Barlow have been published:

  • An Examined Life (interviewed by Trevor Allan Davies)[4] covers mostly memoirs of Alexander and Marjory Barlow’s life. Her memories of various Alexander Technique events have been contested by Shoshana Kaminitz,[5] Dilys Carrington, and Walter Carrington.[6]
  • Alexander Technique: the Ground Rules (interview by Sean Carey, 2011) is predominantly about teaching the Technique.[7]

A shorter interview, ‘A conversation with Marjory Barlow’ (interviewed by Joan Schirle, 1986), covers training with F. M. Alexander, on the Technique, and on teaching the Technique.[8]

A Direction issue was dedicated to Dr Wilfred Barlow and Marjory Barlow, and contains an interview with Marjory Barlow (by Frances Oxford).[9]

Workshops

Marjory Barlow’s workshop at the 1999 Freiburg International Congress was transcribed and published in the Congress Papers.[10]

‘Aphorisms of Marjory Barlow’ by Bob Britton are compiled from a workshop given in San Francisco in 1995.[11]

Descriptions

  • The book Think More, Do Less, by Sean Carey covers Marjory Barlow’s teaching in detail.[12]
  • John Gray’s Your guide to the Alexander Technique, 1990, can be viewed as an accurate description of the teachings of the Barlows.[13]
  • ‘Trainee’s recollection from Marjory’s training course’ by Alan Rowlands are notes from sayings of Marjory Barlow during his training with her.[14]
  • ‘Trainee’s recollection from Marjory’s training course’ by Anne Battye; memoirs of training with Marjory Barlow, starting in 1961.[15]

Videos

  • Marjory Barlow Regent’s College 1998 [DVD].[16]
  • Marjory Barlow Freiburg 1999 [DVD].[17]
  • Marjory Barlow Masterclass and Interview [DVD] – from the 1986 1st International Congress.[18]

Obituaries and remembrances

  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Adam Nott.[19]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Elisabeth Walker.[20]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by George J. D. Bruce.[21]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Anne Battye.[22]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by John Gray.[23]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Adam Nott.[24]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Rosemary Nott.[25]
  • ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Trevor Allan Davies.[26]
  • ‘Memories of Marjory Barlow’ by Michael D. Frederick, Rosemary Nott, Rome Earle, Anne Battye, Adam Nott, Trevor Allan Davies.[27]
  • ‘Remembering the Barlows’ by Selma Gokcen is a report on the memorial service for Wilfred and Marjory Barlow in 2007.[28]

Trevor Allan Davies recorded Marjory Barlow reading F. M. Alexander’s four books, but only CCC was published on cassette tape.[29] Due to copyright issues other recordings have not been published yet.

See also Wilfred Barlow.

References

[1] ‘The Teaching of F. Matthias Alexander’ by Marjory Barlow (1966, The Alexander Clinic), booklet.
[2] ‘The Essence of F.M.’s Teaching’ by Marjory Barlow in The Alexander Journal no. 15, Autumn 1997 (STAT), pp. 13–20.
[3] ‘Recollections of my uncle, F. M. Alexander’ by Marjory Barlow in The Congress Papers 1994, The Meaning of Change, 125 Years On, edited by David Garlick (Direction, 1996), pp. 8–11.
[4] An Examined Life by Marjory Barlow, Trevor Allen Davies (Mornum Time Press, 2002).
[5] ‘On putting the record straight and more’ by Shoshana Kaminitz, AmSAT News issue no. 63, Spring 2004, pp. 20–21.
[6] ‘Marjory’s book’ in An Evolution of the Alexander Technique by Walter Carrington and Dilys Carrington (Sheildrake Press, 2017), pp. 260–61.
[7] Alexander Technique: The Ground Rules by Marjory Barlow, Seán Carey (HITE, 2011).
[8] ‘A conversation with Marjory Barlow’ interviewed by Joan Schirle in Bone, Breath and Gesture edited Don Hanlon Johnson (North Atlantic Books, 1995), pp. 85–95. First published in Somatics Spring/Summer 1987, pp. 22–25.
[9] ‘Marjory Barlow interviewed’ by Frances Oxford in Direction vol. 2, no. 2 edited by Jeremy Chance (Fyncot Pty Ltd., 1994), pp. 12–22.
[10] ‘Marjory Barlow Masterclass’ transcribed and edited by Jean M. O. Fischer from three workshops; in The Congress Papers 1999, An Ongoing Discovery edited by Jean M. O. Fischer (STATBooks, 2001), pp. 142–52.
[11] ‘Aphorisms of Marjory Barlow’ by Bob Britton in Direction vol. 2, no. 6 edited by Jeremy Chance (Fyncot Pty Ltd., 1998), pp. 15–16.
[12] Think More, Do Less by Seán Carey (HITE, 2017).
[13] Your guide to the Alexander Technique by John Gray (Gollancz, 1990).
[14] ‘Trainee’s recollection from Marjory’s training course’ by Alan Rowlands in An Examined Life by Marjory Barlow, Trevor Allen Davies (Mornum Time Press, 2002), pp. 306–15.
[15] ‘Trainee’s recollection from Marjory’s training course’ by Anne Battye in An Examined Life by Marjory Barlow, Trevor Allen Davies (Mornum Time Press, 2002), pp. 316–21.
[16] Marjory Barlow Regent’s College 1998 [DVD] by Marjory Barlow, David Reed (David Reed Media, 1998).
[17] Marjory Barlow Freiburg 1999 [DVD] by Marjory Barlow, David Reed (David Reed Media, 2005).
[18] Marjory Barlow Masterclass and Interview [DVD], interviewed by Michael Frederick 1986 (David Reed Media, 2011).
[19] The Alexander Journal no. 22, Summer 2008 (STAT), pp. 68–71.
[20] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Elisabeth Walker in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), p. 16.
[21] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by George J. D. Bruce in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), pp. 16–17.
[22] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Anne Battye in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), p. 17.
[23] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by John Gray in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), pp. 17–18.
[24] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Adam Nott in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), p. 18.
[25] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Rosemary Nott in STATNews vol. 6, no. 21 edited by Ann James (STAT, February 2007), p. 18.
[26] ‘Marjory Barlow’ by Trevor Allan Davies in AmSAT News, Spring 2007 no. 73, p. 20.
[27] AmSAT News, Spring 2007 no. 73, p. 21–23.
[28] ‘Remembering the Barlows’ by Selma Gokcen in STATNews vol. 6, no. 23 edited by Ann James (STAT, September 2008), pp. 20–21.
[29] Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual [Cassette tapes] by F. Matthias Alexander, read by Marjory Barlow (STATBooks, 2000).