The International Festival Ensemble from South Jordan City, Utah
In a joint resolution, the Utah State Legislature recognized the CLOG AMERICA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ENSEMBLE as a “Utah cultural treasure” and “Ambassadors of Peace and Friendship to the World.”
CLOG AMERICA, also known as “America’s Folk Ambassador’s” is comprised of award-winning dancers and musicians who have had the great honor of representing the United States in over 60 major festivals and events throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Korea, China and the USA since 1991. The ensemble has appeared on national television in Germany, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Brazil, Macedonia, Hungary and the USA. They represent championship-level cloggers from the Rocky Mountain area of the Western United States who have won numerous national titles throughout the USA. The individual dancers have also performed their high-powered dance style as special guest artists with recording stars Marie Osmond and the Branson Brothers as well as appearing in the Great American Liberty Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the White House Ellipse, the Lincoln Memorial and Sylvan Theater in Washington, D.C.; the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Disney’s Epcot Center and Magic Kingdom as well as throughout up-state New York and Hawaii.
CLOG AMERICA was honored to represent the USA and all American servicemen who fought in World War II at “The International Folk Arts Festival dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War” which was held in Moscow, Russia during September 2005. During 2004, CLOG AMERICA was the sole representative of the USA at the 2004 “World Folkloriada”. Held only once every four years, Folkloriada is also known as the “Olympics of the Folk Art World”. The group also appeared in October 2004 as the first representative of the USA to be invited to the Shanghai Baoshan International Folk Art Festival in China. CLOG AMERICA appeared as special guest artists during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games held in Salt Lake City, Utah and represented the USA at the Celebration Folklore Festival associated with the 2002 World Cup Soccer Games in Korea.
The repertoire performed by CLOG AMERICA includes dances representing the youthful, energetic and diverse culture of the USA. The dancers specialize in clogging which is an American dance form born in the Appalachian Mountain area and influenced by steps of European settlers from England and Holland, the Native American Indians and the African slaves. The various clogging dances are performed with special taps on their shoes allowing for the intricate sounds of the steps to be heard. The clogging dances include traditional precision and hoedown as well as line, novelty and character numbers.
In addition to clogging, CLOG AMERICA also performs dances representing various time periods of American history including Pioneer dances, Contras, Charleston, Rock & Roll as well as Country Line and Swing, the popular western dance style of the 90’s, in the fast-paced and exciting CLOG AMERICA program. The CLOG AMERICA BAND is comprised of accomplished musicians playing fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass and various percussion instruments. In addition to accompanying the dancers, the band performs toe-tapping specialty numbers such as the popular “Orange Blossom Special” and “Dueling Banjos” as well as popular vocal numbers. The intricate Native America Hoop Dance and spectacular Polynesian Fire Knife Dance is performed by the Ahunas, specialty dancers from Hawaii.
The performances of CLOG AMERCA have been supported by USArtists International, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and managed by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.