World vis­its Springville dur­ing Folk­fest

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To the mu­sic of the Amer­i­can clas­sic “Rock Around the Clock,” ap­prox­i­mately 250 per­form­ers from around the world crowded a Springville stage and danced for the last time to­gether on Satur­day, Aug. 1.

The dance was the clos­ing num­ber of the 2015 Springville World Folk­fest, which brought to­gether rep­re­sen­ta­tives of cul­tures from around the globe for five evening per­for­mances at Springville’s Spring Acres Arts Park. This was the 29th year of the Folk­fest, and groups trav­eled from Bel­gium, Chile, the Re­pub­lic of Ge­or­gia, Latvia, Lithua­nia, Nepal, Peru, Poland and Tai­wan to par­tic­i­pate. Three lo­cal groups also per­formed on Aug. 1: Morn­ing Star, a Na­tive Amer­i­can per­form­ing group; clog­ging group Rocky Moun­tain Ex­press; and Pa­cific Gen­er­a­tion, which rep­re­sented the cul­tures of Poly­ne­sia.

A large crowd of peo­ple gath­ered in the out­door am­phithe­ater at the arts park for the week’s last per­for­mance, cheer­ing as each group took the stage. The au­di­ence was treated to a demon­stra­tion of flag toss­ing, a folk tra­di­tion that has evolved in Bel­gium over time. The group from Chile danced with long ropes dec­o­rated with col­or­ful pom-poms; as the danced, the group mem­bers wove pat­terns with the ropes. The group from Tai­wan of­fered a beau­ti­ful, grace­ful dance com­plete with col­or­ful para­sols.

The last group of the evening, Pa­cific Gen­er­a­tion, pre­sented dances from the is­land of Tahiti fol­lowed by the ex­cit­ing Fire Knife Dance from Samoa. This dance ex­hibits the skill of a dancer who rapidly spins a torch lit on both ends.

The per­for­mance wrapped up with the World Folk­fest Dance Ensem­ble, a group put to­gether through lo­cal au­di­tions, per­form­ing the swing to “Rock Around the Clock.” They were even­tu­ally joined by all the vis­it­ing coun­ties and all danced to­gether in a joy­ful cel­e­bra­tion of the cul­tures of the world and the sim­i­lar­i­ties that all hu­mans share.

For more in­for­ma­tion about next year’s Folk­fest - its 30th an­niver­sary - visit www.world­folk­fest.com.

Ligo, a folk­fest group from Latvia, uses long strips of fab­ric to cre­ate in­ter­est­ing de­signs dur­ing a per­for­mance of the 2015 World Folk­fest in Springville.

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