Winterfest Delights Audiences at the Conference Center
By Michelle Garrett and Whitney Evans, Church News Staff Writers
Brigham Young University’s performing arts groups are always a sight to see. More than just dancing or singing, they are putting on a show and engaging the audience at every turn.
BYU’s Ballroom Dance Company offered the first of a stellar line-up of performances on Friday, February 1, and Saturday, February 2. The company currently holds the title of States National Formation Dance Champion, a distinction they’ve held 30 consecutive times since 1982. During the “Capture the Magic” showcase, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company featured dances ranging from tango to classic ballroom formation.
It was nearly impossible to avoid clapping along to the syncopated beats offset by the clickity clack of heels on the dance floor.
One scene featured Charlie Chaplin-esque characters who waddled on stage to an old-fashioned sonogram playing crackly music. Soon thereafter they were joined by others seemingly transported from the 1920s who gave a modern take on the Lindy Hop.
Other dances were more emotive, including one that paid homage to the troops in combat. Against a backdrop featuring scenes of various members of the armed forces, three couples—including men in vintage military uniforms—expressively danced almost mournfully to a woman singing, “Please come home soon.”
This was followed by more lively dances including the ballroom team’s rendition of pieces from the musical Hairspray, a creative dance with performers dressed up as neon-colored Nintendo characters, and the winning ballroom and Latin American medleys from the National Formation Team Championships.
The crowd erupted into louder applause with every successive dance number, and the evening ended with a standing ovation.
The following performances are also featured throughout February:
Friday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.
Livings Legends performs songs and dances from the Latin American, Native American, and Polynesian cultures. From the Hawaiian hula to Mexican fiesta dances to a Native American powwow, Living Legends brings its audiences culturally authentic choreography, costumes, and music. Their show, “Seasons,” is meant to reflect the cycle of civilization and the changing of seasons experienced by ancient cultures.
“Our show expresses to the audience the deep love we have for our ancestry and our cultures,” said performer Tiana Bettinson. “What really impacts the audience and makes our show one to remember is the spirit of joy that comes in seeing all these cultures and history come together to make something truly beautiful.”
Living Legends has performed throughout the United States and in more than 45 foreign countries. They have been featured on national TV in China, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and represented the United States at the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville, Spain, and at the 1991 German-American Volksfest in Berlin.
“It was an outstanding display of talent, dedication, and pageantry,” said Ralph Stewart after watching their show in Port Orchard, Washington. “We were impressed by the obvious amount of time, effort, and money that went into this show. … It was not only entertaining but educational and thought- provoking as well. Thank you for this opportunity of enlightenment.”
Saturday, February 16, 2:00 p.m. (matinee) and 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Chorus, at 190 voices, is one of the largest and most popular men’s choirs in the United States. Conducted by Rosalind Hall, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, the choir’s concerts range from Gregorian chants to spirituals to fully choreographed popular music. Men’s Chorus has released eight albums, including Awake My Soul and Shout with Glory, two of the choir’s most popular albums that were rereleased in 2009 through Deseret Book.
“That many clean-cut young men in navy blue blazers is a sight in itself,” said Laurie Williams Sowby of the Daily Herald. “And it’s not just the sound they make, powerful though it is and of such high quality that their chords resound in memory long after the concert’s over.”
Tickets are required for this event. There is a limit of 10 tickets per order.
Tickets can be obtained over the Internet or by calling 1-801-570-0080 (locally) or toll-free 1-866-537-8457 (1-866-LDS-TIKS).
Based on availability, tickets can be obtained in person at the ticket office located at door four of the Conference Center. The ticket office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Evening performance and matinee performance tickets are $10.
There is a $1.50 convenience fee added to the cost of each ticket purchased over the Internet.