ANNA BARTON (1936 – 2020)
A Personal Tribute by Rosie Turnbull
Anna was an inspiring Sacred Dance teacher, mentor and wise friend, who made her transition on 10 April 2020.
I had the privilege to work with Anna co-focalising Sacred Dance workshops and trainings through the 1980s. A highlight for me was ‘Meditation in Movement’ over the spring and autumn equinox where Anna offered Paneurhythmy before our dance sessions. Anna was invited to teach in many areas in Europe from the late 80s and together we offered two 2-year Sacred Dance Trainings in Ireland and in Germany, where Anna would lead the trainings and I would follow up with workshops. She also taught in Brazil, Italy, France and many parts of the UK.
It all began when Anna met Bernard Wosien at Findhorn in 1976 when he and his daughter Gabriele brought 24 dances ‘to sow seeds of the European Circle Dance tradition in the Findhorn Foundation’. These seeds took root and sprouted, mainly due to Anna’s commitment and her success in combining the dances with what was alive in the Foundation – the attunement process, aligning to the Divine, focusing the group energy using a candle as a centerpiece, holding space after each dance, and building and raising group consciousness – all held with grace and humour. Anna was also very particular about dances being passed on accurately and has been credited with devising a code/system for writing down the dance steps in a clear, comprehensible way, used all over the world.
And so Sacred Dance became a tool to channel healing energy for the dancers, the community and the planet. It continues to flourish as a crucial component in building group energy at the beginning of Experience Week. I am so grateful to Anna for leaving us this wonderful legacy of the Sacred Dance Network, which was for her, a much appreciated extended family.
Despite health challenges in her later years, at the annual Festival of Sacred Dance, Music & Song held here at the Findhorn Foundation, she continued to welcome friends, hold a sharing group in her home, and take her place in the circle. I also admired how she engaged with the community in so many ways – various choirs, Family Sanctuary, knitting circles, and playing with and supporting young children with their reading and homework.
On April 18, thanks to community innovators, Brant Brambery, Katharina Kroeber and Mark Dammer, creators of The Centrepiece, https://brantbambery.com/the-centrepiece/ 260 people from 20 countries connected on Zoom to dance Anna’s choreographies and to honour her and her considerable contribution to Findhorn Sacred Dance.
A fitting tribute to a beautiful soul.