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Intellect

This year's "Christmas Around the World" Nov. 30-Dec. 1 staged in the round

Featuring the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble

The annual “Christmas Around the World” celebration at Brigham Young University featuring the International Folk Dance Ensemble will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday in the Marriott Center.

Tickets are available through the Marriott Center Ticket Office, (801) 422-2981, or at byutickets.com. Tickets cost $10 - 20, with discounts available for children or individuals with a student ID (limit two per student).

For the first time since the program began in 1960, the show will be presented in the round, meaning the audience will be surrounding the performers on all sides. The production will also include a new set, new choreography and a new percussive number featuring tap dancing.

This year’s theme, “Kaleidoscope,” will be demonstrated by more than 200 talented dancers, singers and musicians in colorful costumes discovering the Christmas traditions of light used in different cultures around the world. The group will perform dances and music from 13 countries across the globe, including Russia, Serbia, Scotland, the Philippines, China and India.

In her second year as artistic director, Jeanette Geslison continues to add new elements to the program after introducing brand new numbers and restaging past favorites last year.

“A show that combines different music and choreography as diverse as we do is rare,” Geslison said. “Hopefully through the production the audience and student performers can gain appreciation for the traditions and beliefs of other cultures. That’s what I hope the audience comes away with.”

Preparations for the program began back in January with brainstorming and planning sessions. When changes to the Marriott Center seating were announced, Geslison and her production team began to consider the opportunity to try something new by presenting the show in the round.

“When we started seeing the possibilities, I started opening up to it,” Geslison said. “I was nervous at first, but everything started to become very cohesive. It’s very exciting. But the magic of the show really comes together the week leading up to the show.”.

“We only have access to our performance space for that one week, and a lot of students are new this year. They come together for the show and work so hard and their eyes open to what our program offers,” she said.

For more information, contact Jeanette Geslison at (801) 422-5013.

Writer: Preston Wittwer

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