Gypsy Rhythms

There we were, in bright summer sunshine under a cloudless blue sky, temperature 27 degrees celcius, dancing barefoot on our special dancing lawn in the dunes behind the Universal Hall.

It was a perfect moment for me as Xenos, a lively gypsy band from Australia and special guest at this year’s Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, played in the middle of our circle and we surrendered ourselves to sun on our faces, earth under our feet and the primal rhythms of this passionate Balkan music and dance. It was indeed a moment of deep joy and connection with the sacred in myself, in my fellow dancers, in the tradition of the dances themselves and in the earth and sky which held us.

It has been a rich and sun-drenched week with the wonderful sounds of Kate O’Connell’s choir drifting across our village green in the afternoons, Bill Henderson’s scratch band sounding better than ever and the contagious joy of constant dancing, whether wild and exuberant or more mindfully meditative.

Thursday, the last evening with Xenos, was a spectacular fusion of colourful costumes and diverse and exotic dances. I will never forget the wild and piercing sounds of the zurna, the gaida and the tulum calling me to dance from the joy and power of my central life force and feeling the energy of a hundred life forces vibrating through the circle of hands as we danced.

Friday, the final night when choir, band and dancers perform, was impressive. It is always touching to see the bond built between participants in such a short but intense week of inspiration, creative expression and fun.

This was my fifth Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song and I am already looking forward to next year’s 30th anniversary festival, celebrating 30 inspirational years of sacred dance at Findhorn. (Yvonne Cuneo reporting.)

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