They came to the northeast of Scotland from Brazil and Canada, Japan and Australia, Switzerland and Belgium, Newcastle and Glasgow, to join hands and hearts once more in the 11th Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, hosted by the Findhorn Foundation last week. The dances, like the participants, were from all over the globe and throughout the week there was live music and song to accompany and meet the spirit of the dance – from wild, earthy, vibrant rhythms to connect with the fire inside, to meditative tempos touching the softer, more vulnerable side of our being.
Anna Barton, international Sacred Dance teacher for over 20 years said, “Dance is a wonderful way to bring people together in peace and joy. By taking us to a deeper place of unity with each other, and within ourselves, our dancing can help heal the Earth.”
Special guest teacher this year was Nanni Kloke, from Holland, whose choreography epitomises her own flowing grace and fairy lightness of foot, and her intense connection with heaven and earth. Nanni explains, “My dances are my diary. The music gives me wings, my body becomes my instrument and the dance lives with me, grows with me. It doesn’t matter what style of dance it is; it is my total presence in it that makes it sacred.”
On the final night the Universal Hall was filled to capacity when hundreds of dancers were joined by a spirited choir and orchestra of workshop participants, led by the endlessly energetic community artist Kate O’Connell, and by Bill Henderson, inspired Welsh musician and long term associate of the Findhorn Foundation.
Experienced singers and musicians joined with beginners to accompany the dancers in a dynamic harmony of movement, music and voice. The level of joyful energy and exuberance created proves once again that this is a very powerful way to connect people with themselves and each other in a world that threatens to divide and alienate.
The spirit of creativity and celebration continues at Findhorn with the Festival of Singing and Storytelling, 7 – 14 September, featuring one of Britain’s leading female a cappella quintets, Black Voices.