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Department Of Dance

Christmas Traditions From Around the World Brought To Life Through Dance

BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble Presents Annual “Christmas Around the World: Celebration” Performance

Photo by BYU Photo

This holiday season, come be a part of the longest running Christmas show on campus and the largest cultural dance program of its kind in the United States. The Department of Dance’s 63rd annual “Christmas Around the World” is coming to the Marriott Center on December 1-2, 2023. This year the performance’s title, “Celebration,” truly represents the joy attendees feel as they experience international dance, music, food and cultural activities, all provided by the BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble (Folk Dance) and Mountain Strings.

Audience members can look forward to five premieres in this year’s performance: the Polish “Oberek” and the Hungarian “Somogyi Tànok,” both choreographed by Jeanette Geslison; the Irish “Ceili” staged by Jeanette Geslison and Folk Dance students; the “Filipino Medley” choreographed by Folk Dance student Tana Bybee; and the Mexican American “Percussive Collaboration” choreographed by Miguel Peña and Greg and Maria Tucker. The performance will also feature traditional dances from Serbia, India and Ukraine.

“Celebration” also welcomes special guest artists from around the world. Folk Dance will be joined onstage by dancers from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Ballet Folklorico and BYU’s Living Legends. Folk Dance is also excited to welcome back I Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki and I Nyoman Windha and their students from Indonesia. They will collaborate with the BYU Gamelan Orchestra which was founded by BYU Music faculty Jeremy Grimshaw. 

Folk Dance director Jeanette Geslison has found it valuable to work with other choreographers such as Peña. She said, “It feels rewarding to share the stage and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of each of our own cultural traditions and to find commonalities. To celebrate together feels so appropriate during the beginning of this Christmas season.”

Festivities begin before the show starts with a pre-concert Christmas market held in the concourse of the Marriott Center. Guests can meet and interact with dancers in costume, enjoy live music, partake in international food and enjoy cultural activities.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of the longstanding BYU tradition and cultural celebration that is “Christmas Around the World: Celebration.”

Photo by BYU Photo

Tickets and Show Details: 

Date & Time: 
December 1 | 7:30 p.m.
December 2 | 2:00 & 7:30 p.m.

Location: BYU Marriott Center
Price: $10-22
Tickets: Tickets available online through