11th June 1936 – 10th April 2020

Anna in the Dance Drama Studio, Universal Hall, Findhorn Foundation, 1982

Anna Barton arrived in the Findhorn Community with her family in the mid-1970s. Her husband A. D. (Dick) Barton served as the General Secretary for a number of years before founding the Cullerne Garden School with his father.

Anna with partner dancing Tarantella, Cluny Ballroom

Anna worked in the Community, and was only too pleased to join Bernhard Wosien on his first visit to the Foundation. At the time dance was shared between several teachers, including Anna. But unlike others Anna took down notes on the steps. In 1979 she became the Director of Sacred Dance at Findhorn when Babs returned to Holland.

Besides holding regular meetings of the Sacred Dance group on Tuesdays Anna also introduced dancing on Wednesdays as a chance for new teachers to gain experience. She held Sacred Dance at community events and on Sundays for the Experience Week.

At the time of Festivals and conferences, if Bernhard was present, she would hold the focus within the Community and introduce the performance at the beginning of the Festival. Bernhard would work with the Sacred Dance troupe for a week and then present a performance as the opening event of the Festival. During the week of the conference he would offer workshops open to participants to share in his work.

Bernhard with Sacred Dance Troupe Findhorn 1983 . Anna is framed by the door

Anna held workshops within the community, as many as three or more a year, she also travelled taking the dances out to other places within Britain and the world. She always travelled with her tapes so that if she was called upon she had the material ready to share with others.

Anna had a tremendous gift for introducing people to dance who had never danced before. She helped them overcome their nervous self-consciousness and showed them that ‘if you can walk, you can dance’.

As well as dancing in the USA and Australia Anna introduced Sacred Dance to Brazil where it is enormously popular today and has become accepted as a bona fide therapeutic tool and a matter for serious – post-graduate – study.

She was followed to Brazil by Maria-Gabriele Wosien, Bernhard’s daughter, Friedel Kloke-Eibl and her daughter Nanni Kloke, as well as Peter Vallance, who took over the directorship of Sacred Dance at Findhorn when Anna retired in the 1990s.

Anna lived in the Park unil her death and joined in the festivals though she did not lead the dancing any longer. She was an active member of the Scratch orchestra lead by Bill Henderson and continued to play when the band, then called Uncle Bill’s Elastic Band, played outside the festival context, giving occasional concerts. She was a constant source of fun, playing tambourine and other percussion.

She leaves a rich heritage behind her, not only of the dances she learned from Bernhard and other teachers, but of her own choreographies as well.