World of Dance, a collection of nationally and internationally recognized student dance ensembles from BYU, lit up the de Jong on Sept. 20–22. The annual event included performances by Ballroom Dance Company, Contemporary Dance Theatre, International Folk Dance Ensemble, Living Legends and Theatre Ballet.
“You see such a variety of styles from top tier-world renowned ensembles that you just don’t get in the other BYU hosted concerts. It’s definitely unique,” said Elisabeth Frischknecht, a senior member of the Folk Dance Ensemble.
Dancers participating in “World of Dance” attended an intensive boot camp and consistent rehearsals three hours a day, three days a week leading up to the performances.
“It’s been a challenge but an even greater blessing,” Frischknecht said.
The blend of diverse dance styles makes “World of Dance” an annual-opening showcase concert for BYU’s Department of Dance. Audience members looking forward to quality dance and theatre production and got exactly what they had hoped for.
“The stage lights are more complex than any other performance,” said Jacob Anderson, a junior at BYU and a master electrician for the performing arts center.
Living Legends and International Folk Dance Ensemble represented American, Serbian, Samoan, Indian, Paraguayan and Alaskan Native American dance cultures.
The Contemporary Dance Theatre also showcased a moving duet with string lights hanging from above the stage. As the dancers reached their arms above, each bulb would illuminate the dark stage with individual lights.
The concert concluded with a dance-off between members from every dance troupe. Each dancer showed off their talents as they did turns, flips and splits on stage. Audience members clapped and danced in their seats along with the professional onstage talent.
Kira Barker, an alumna of the Contemporary Dance Theatre, watched the performance for the first time as an audience member.
“Dance can mean so many different things at different stages of life. I was in awe,” she said. “The performance brought me to my feet.”