World visits Springville during Folkfest
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.