By MARY ROGERS
BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble will perform Friday at 7 p.m. in Cottonwood High School’s auditorium in Salt Lake City.
Friday’s performance will be the ensemble’s only performance of its American folk dance routine in the United States before leaving on tour to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
According to Rex Pugmire, an alumni administrator at BYU, the International Folk Dance Ensemble usually performs international numbers while performing in the United States. This will be a unique change in that the ensemble will be performing American folk dance in the United States.
Pete Codella, regional performance coordinator for Performing Arts Management, said, “This performance is the premiere performance in Utah. This is the only time it will be performed in Utah this year.”
The performance consists of 24 dancers accompanied by Mountain Springs, a music group that plays traditional instruments such as the banjo, fiddle and spoons.
The performance includes dances from around the country and throughout different time periods. It also includes music and choreography from New England, the Appalachian Mountains, the southern states and the Rocky Mountain regions. Several numbers portray different historical periods through dances such as the Charleston and the Jitterbug.
The artistic director, Ed Austin, and associated director, Delynne Peay, along with faculty have recreated dances with accurate detail and authentic choreography. Each dance number is performed in costume from the region and custom from which they originated.
The International Folk Dance Ensemble has performed extensively all over the world. The American Folk Dance Ensemble originates in the Department of Dance, which has the nation’s largest folk dance program.