World Folkfest Performance, Marriott Center, Brigham Young University, 8 p.m. Aug. 17. Tickets for remaining performances in Springville available by phoning 489-3657.The 1988 World Folkfest put on another crowd-pleasing performance Wednesday night, this time in BYU's Marriott Center. There was no glitzy set, but none was needed. The colorful costumes, skillful dancing and enthusiasm of the dancers from six countries was enough on the otherwise bare stage.
In addition to a variety of dances from groups representing Hungary, Turkey, Poland, the Soviet Union, China and the United States, the audience got to see and hear some unusual musical instruments. Though all groups' musicians were appreciated, the most enthusiastic applause went to the fiddling ensemble that nearly rivaled the Rocky Mountain Dancers it was accompanying.
Hungary's Kek Duna (Blue Danube) was impressive in separate dances by the men, whose legs seemed made of rubber, and the women, who deftly danced while balancing bottles of water on their heads.
The Turkish group, Istanbul Bahcelievler Folklor, performed twice, moving almost non-stop through a series of energetic dances in brightly colored costumes. The men's precision was notable.
The small Ritza ensemble, from the Soviet Union, contrasts the gliding movements of the women with the daring, dramatic dances of the men - one creating real sparks with real swords and another where the men throw daggers into the floor as they whirl and leap. To say their performance is exciting is an understatement. The audience went wild and rose to its feet with cheers when the last dancer spun and whirled with the Russian and American flags in his hands as the show's finale.
All 20 dancers and the musicians in the Polish group Biawena are employed at the Biawena Wool Factory. Their lengthy folk songs and dances from two different regions include polka and waltz steps.
The performance of the Beijing National Folk Ballet was characterized by graceful arm movements and the confident smiles of the young women in the troupe. A 65-year-old's "Fish Dance" was an audience favorite, but the men's acrobatics in the "Drum Dance" earned an on-the-spot standing ovation from many.
Salt Lake City's Rocky Mountain Dancers performed two quieter Appalachian-style dances, then drew spontaneous applause throughout the lively clogging number.
The World Folkfest has another performance on the field adjacent to Springville High School at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 with all of the groups participating. A parade at 5 p.m. Aug.20 from City Hall to the Springville Museum of Art will precede the final performance by all groups at 7:30 p.m.