International Folk Dance Ensemble
- Existence: 1956-
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 23 Collections and/or Records:
Contains budgets, ledgers, and expense reports for the International Folk Dance Ensemble from 1973 to 1978.
Contains lists of students who were enrolled in the International Folk Dancers classes from approximately 1956 to 1981.
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).
Contains newspaper clippings of the International Folk Dancers team from approximately 1956 to 1981.
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.
Contains video recordings of the performances of the International Folk Dancers from approximately 1956 to 1981. Also includes some amateur footage of Coalville, Utah.
Contains scrapbooks from the International Folk Dancers' tours. Materials date approximately from 1956 to 1981. Miscellaneous items include flags, musical records, patches, posters, fans, awards, pins, buttons, tickets, and audio recordings.