June 13, 2013
BYU Folk Dancers to Perform at Memphis Theatre
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, thrilling performance The Gathering at the Memphis Theatre on Saturday, June 15 at 1 p.m.
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 a stunning, 90-minute performance. The showcase incorporates dance and music from Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America into a showcase unlike anything audiences have ever seen. The ensemble's authentic costumes and precise performance leave every audience member breathless and anxious for more.
The Gathering shows audiences that their hearts can beat in time to any tradition.
The dance ensemble is often accompanied by the highly versatile and highly acclaimed acoustic band Mountain Strings. These musicians provide live, engaging music that is every bit the dancers' equal in complexity, skill, and professionalism. The musicians demonstrate such extraordinary talent that their performance could be-and, in some venues, often is-a show unto itself.
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.