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Intellect

BYU celebrates "Christmas Around the World" with folk dance styles Dec. 3-4

Brigham Young University's International Folk Dance Ensemble celebrates the season with its annual performance "Christmas Around the World" featuring cultural dance pieces from several countries at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, in the Marriott Center.

A matinee performance will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Marriott Center Ticket office at (801) 422-2981.

Welcome the wonder of the holiday season with this dazzling display of folk dance and music directed by Ed Austin. The theme for this year's concert is "Reflections of the Season."

"We decided to reflect upon the season by presenting the dances as gifts that we can give one another," said Ed Austin, International Folk Dance Ensemble artistic director. "When we reflect upon this aspect of dance many people watching are going to discover or think of gifts rooted within them that they can give to others. We want to try to help people get beyond the commercial aspects of Christmas and focus on what we are really celebrating and what we can do to add to that celebration."

The concert has several new pieces including "Plena Boricua" from Puerto Rico, a solo ,"Caledonian Salute" from Scotland, "Polonez" from Poland, "Pukch'e Chum" from Korea and "Bele Bele" from India.

The new pieces add lots of color and enthusiasm to the performance. The new pieces engage the audience with exciting rhythms and costumes, Austin said.

The Irish piece also had a makeover with new choreography that strays from the typical Irish "Riverdance" look.

With a cast of more than 200 talented dancers, singers and musicians in beautiful, authentic costumes, audiences will experience different cultures united in their wish for peace on earth and good will toward all.

"When we think about the 'Season of Christmas' we think of the Savior, of his birth and his life. All his life he was establishing peace and teaching people how to live with one another," Austin said. "The show is like this in that it breaks down the barriers Christ was trying to break down. Whenever we bring groups of people together representing nations around the world, many negative barriers disappear."

For more information contact Ed Austin at (801) 422-3384.

Writer: Rebekah Hanson

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