Festivals, concerts, and castles are in the forecast for International Folk Dance Ensemble, who will visit Belgium, France, and Poland this summer. The ensemble will spend an entire week in Schoten, Belgium, to participate in the Hello!Schoten folk festival and perform with folk dancers from all over the world. “It will be a lot more interactive for us in comparison to normal performances,” says BYU dancer Samuel Chun. “I’m looking forward to having a better chance to bond with the dancers from other countries because it will be more of an exchange opportunity.”
While in Belgium, International Folk Dance Ensemble will hold a VIP concert under the patronage of the first vice president of the European Parliament, Ms. Mairead McGuinness. Special guests of the event will include EU officials, European Parliament members, ambassadors and representatives of churches and NGOs. The event is organized in partnership with the European Union Office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The group will then visit France, where the students will perform in Paris’s beautiful Massy Opera House; see Mont-Sant-Michel, an island castle; and tour the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Collevill-sur-Mer, which was built to honor the soldiers who fought on D-day during World War II. “I have heard the sites are very somber, but I think it will be one of the greatest memories we will make on our tours,” says Chun.
The ensemble’s last stop will be in Poland, where the students will hold a dance workshop with the Polish folk group Zespół Pieśni I Tańca and participate in the Eurofolk Festival in Zamość, Poland.