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Department Of Dance

Celebrate Human Commonalities with International Folk Dance Ensemble

Enjoy Dance Traditions From Around the World in International Folk Dance Ensemble’s “Journey: Reflections”

For 60 years, BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble (IFDE) has been sharing the joy of world dance with audiences across the globe. In their upcoming show, “Journey: Reflections,” the group will perform dance traditions from Brazil for the first time in IFDE history. The show runs February 7-9, 2024. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Richards Building Dance Performance Theatre.

BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble
Photo by BYU Photo

IFDE artistic director Jeanette Geslison collaborated with script writer Teresa Love to develop the concept of “reflecting” diverse cultures with one another. Geslison said, “Ethnic groups may look different but we can reflect about our human commonalities.”

IFDE is made up of 28 dancers, seven musicians and five students who run the technical aspects of the show. Since the program began in 1956, IFDE performances have featured live music. For this performance, the Mountain Strings band will accompany the dancers with instrumentation that aligns with the cultural representation. The band uses acoustic instruments suited to North American, British Isles and European Western traditions.

“Journey: Reflections” will feature two new dance pieces. For the first new piece, Brazilian choreographers Mateus and Priscila Arruda Antunes spent a week working with BYU students, teaching them southern Brazilian Gaucho dance traditions. These traditions have been handed down for generations in the Antunes family, and the two run a cultural organization that facilitates choreography, competitions and social events. The collaboration between the Arruda Antunes’ was made possible by student Kye Davis who went to southern Brazil last year to research the traditional Chula dance.

BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble
Photo by BYU Photo

The second new dance number in the show will be a Hungarian dance. During fall 2022, famed Hungarian choreographer Zsolt Juhász came to BYU. He invited IFDE to perform the dance at the Duna Karnevál in Budapest, Hungary, during summer 2023. Now, audiences can enjoy it right here in Provo.

"’Journey: Reflections’ is an event that transports audiences around the world right from their seats,” Geslison said. “It serves as an educational and inspiring experience, fostering an appreciation for differences while revealing the common human bonds that connect people. In a world where we coexist with individuals of various ethnicities and diverse backgrounds, this cultural presentation aims to uplift and inspire greater appreciation and understanding among people.”

Tickets and Show Details
When: February 7-9 | 7:30 p.m.
Where: Richards Building Dance Performance Theatre
Price: $18
Tickets: Available online at BYU Tickets