In International Folk Dance Ensemble

Celebrate ‘Festival!’ with BYU’s Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World, the longest running annual Christmas production on BYU campus, opens Friday, Dec. 2 and continues Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Marriott Center.

Presented by BYU Department of Dance and the International Folk Dance Ensemble, this holiday tradition—themed “Festival!” for 2016—showcases the rich ethnic diversity of the world through music and dance, and features more than 200 dancers, singers and musicians, with colorful costumes and captivating choreography.

“This year’s concert brings to the stage the international festival experience that has created countless meaningful impressions and lasting friendships over the last 60 years of touring,” said Jeanette Geslison, artistic director of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble. “We invite everyone to come, meet and interact with dancers in costume, live music, crafts, activities, jugglers, food vendors and a special alumni booth.”

The International Folk Dance Ensemble will premiere new choreographies this year representing Ukraine, Mexico, Ireland, Hungary, Indonesia and Palestine. In addition, special guest musicians I-Shan Lai (Chinese Violin) and Kerry Christensen, yodeler and Alpine horn. The BYU Folk Music Ensemble will enhance the production with live music.

Patrons should plan to arrive early to join the festival activities on the Marriott Center concourse for food and fun cultural activities.

International Folk Dance festivals are held world-wide to promote the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. At festivals the students share traditional American dance and music as they serve as ambassadors of BYU, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the U.S. Folk dance festivals encourage people from around the world to gather despite cultural, political, social, or religious differences. Geographical boundaries dissipate which motivates dancers, musicians, and audience members to become united one with another.

The program is sponsored by BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications, Department of Dance and World Dance faculty.

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