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International Folk Dance Ensemble

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1956-

Administrative History

The Brigham Young University International Folk Dance Ensemble (est. 1956) presents a concert program of dances from more than a dozen nations, including Ukraine, Russia, Korea, Poland, Mexico, and the United States.

The Ensemble was founded in 1956 by Mary Bee Jensen when she was asked to organize Scandanavian dances for a congregation meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Janie Thompson, the director of BYU's Young Ambassadors performing group, aided Jensen early on in the development of the program. In 1959, the ensemble established the annual "Christmas Around the World" concert. Since 1964, the ensemble has represented the United States and American culture at folk dance festivals throughout the world, including the festival held in conjunction with the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the festivals in Haifa, Israel; Confolens, France; and Billingham, England. In addition, the group regularly presented its international repertoire throughout the United States and Canada. Regardless of focus, international or American, the BYU Folk Dance Ensemble is acclaimed for their skillful dancing and energy. They celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006, visiting the Baltic States and the Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville, an international folk dance festival held in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada.

Since 1994, the International Folk Dance Ensemble has been administered under Performing Arts Management, which schedules performing groups on campus. Directors for Performing Arts Management have included Edward L. Blaser (1994-2015) and Rex L. Barrington (2015- ).

Citation:
International Folk Dance Ensemble website, viewed Jul. 11, 2011 (International Folk Dance Ensemble; dances from more than a dozen nations, including Ukraine, Russia, Korea, Poland, Mexico, and the United States; founded in 1956; visited the Baltic States and the Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville in Quebec, Canada; since 1964 the ensemble has represented the United States and American culture at folk dance festivals throughout the world, including the festival held in conjunction with the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the festivals in Haifa, Israel; Confolens, France; and Billingham, England; United States and Canada)

BYU organizational history project website, viewed Jul. 11, 2011 (Administered under the Performing Arts Management since 1994; directors for Performing Arts Management, Edward L. Blaser, 1994-)

Personal communication with Edward L. Blaser, July 6, 2020 (director from 1977 to September 2015; prior to 1994, the department was called Performance Scheduling with same functions and job descriptions)

Performing Arts Management website, viewed July 6, 2020 (Rex L. Barrington director since 2015)

Found in 24 Collections and/or Records:

BYU Photo contact sheets and photographs of International Folk Dance Ensemble, 1975-2000

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5754 Series 2 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains contact sheets and photograph prints featuring the Brigham Young University International Folk Dance Ensemble on campus in classes and rehearsals, photo shoots, performances such as Christmas Around the World, in both live action and posed shots, and touring throughout the world, including rehearsals, performance shots, and sightseeing pictures. Materials dated 1975 to 2000.

Dates: 1975-2000

BYU Photo negatives of International Folk Dance Ensemble, 1975-2000

 Sub-Series
Identifier: UA 5754 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Contains negatives for photos of the International Folk Dance Ensemble, and occasionally the Folk Music Ensemble, during domestic performances (e.g., parades, festivals, Christmas Around the World, Wheeler Farm, and Lagoon's Pioneer Village); international tours (Europe, Puerto Rico, China/Japan/Taiwan, Hawaii, Canada, Switzerland, Israel, Armenia, France, Poland, Czech Republic); as well as publicity photos, headshots of dancers in various international dance costumes, class shots,...
Dates: 1975-2000

China and the orient, 1983

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA SC 71

International Folk Dance Ensemble budgets, approximately 1973-1978

 Series — Carton: 32, Folder: 10
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 8
Scope and Contents

Contains budgets, ledgers, and expense reports for the International Folk Dance Ensemble from 1973 to 1978.

Dates: approximately 1973-1978

International Folk Dance Ensemble class inventories, approximately 1956-1981

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 7
Scope and Contents

Contains lists of students who were enrolled in the International Folk Dancers classes from approximately 1956 to 1981.

Dates: approximately 1956-1981

International Folk Dance Ensemble folklore records, approximately 1956-1981

 Series — Carton: 31
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 6
Scope and Contents

Contains folklore about dances of various countries around the world. This information was used to provide cultural background for the dances of the International Folk Dancers team (approximately 1956-1981).

Dates: approximately 1956-1981

International Folk Dance Ensemble newspaper clippings, approximately 1956-1981

 Series — Carton: 24
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 3
Scope and Contents

Contains newspaper clippings of the International Folk Dancers team from approximately 1956 to 1981.

Dates: approximately 1956-1981

International Folk Dance Ensemble photographs, approximately 1956-1981

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 5
Scope and Contents

Contains 6,276 photographs of the International Folk Dancers from approximately 1956 to 1981. Some photographs are mounted with cardboard backings, and some have corresponding photographic negatives.

Dates: approximately 1956-1981

International Folk Dance Ensemble recordings and film, approximately 1956-1981

 Series
Identifier: UA 1340 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains video recordings of the performances of the International Folk Dancers from approximately 1956 to 1981. Also includes some amateur footage of Coalville, Utah.

Dates: approximately 1956-1981

International Folk Dance Ensemble records

 Collection
Identifier: UA 1340
Scope and Contents Contains materials pertaining to the International Folk Dance Ensemble from approximately 1956 to 1981. Contains scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper clippings, tour information, correspondence, class inventories, budgets, audio and video recordings, programs, and folklore information. Materials cover performances and operations, mostly in Provo, Utah at Brigham Young University, and on tour in Europe. Many of the records were created by Mary Bee Jensen in her capacity as the director of the...
Dates: approximately 1956-1981