March 12, 2013 (San Diego) — You’re invited to come feel the pounding of American Appalachian clogging, hear the melodies of Scottish highland song, and see the array of color in Indian dance with BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble. Brigham Young University’s critically acclaimed folk dance team brings the world’s cultures together in their energetic performance, The Gathering.
The show takes stage tonight at Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Dancers will also perform at Grossmont Community College on Wednesday, March 13 in the outside quad area to help enhance cultural awareness on campus.
The performance is made possible by a grant from the World Arts and (Cultures Committee. The dance ensemble will also be performing at three local schools in San Diego County.
The Gathering is the pulse of the world’s cultures, bringing together Irish hard shoe, American clogging, Ukrainian Hopak, exotic Indian dances, and other music and dances from around the world in an energetic 90-minute performance.
The showcase incorporates dance and music from Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, with authentic costumes and precise performance . The Gathering shows audiences that their hearts can beat in time to any tradition. The dance ensemble is accompanied by the highly versatile and acclaimed acoustic band Mountain Strings.
Courtney Austrian of the US State Department in the Ukraine says of the performance, “The dancers and the musicians were absolutely magnificent. Everyone in my office who was lucky enough to attend the performance has been talking today about the energy, enthusiasm, and sheer talent that was on stage last night. The overwhelming feeling here is that it’s extremely unfortunate that there could only be one performance!”
“An extraordinary amount of time, talent, and resources go into a production of this size,” says Edwin G. Austin, former artistic director of the ensemble. “The program, however, goes much deeper than pure entertainment. The production is steeped in tradition—a patchwork of mankind’s finest expression—an attempt to preserve fragments of diversity that might otherwise be forgotten.”
Since 1964, IFDE has toured all over the world, representing the United States and American folk culture. The group has become internationally famous at the world’s most prominent folk dance festivals where they perform with many of the best dance companies from throughout the world. The group has traveled to more than 100 countries with their international repertoire. IFDE has also represented both BYU and the US as the American performance in the world’s largest folk festivals.
The International Folk Dance Ensemble originates in the Department of Dance of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. BYU is one of the nation’s largest private universities with an enrollment of 30,000 students from throughout the United States and 110 foreign countries.
Source: East County Magazine