Family Dance Festival at WMC this weekend

March 26, 2018 by

Family Dance Festival is at Wales Millennium Centre this weekend…..

Mike Smith reviewed the fun at Chapter at the start of the Wales tour….


I’m just listening to some flowers, isn’t the sort of text message I normally send to my young reviewers as we gather together to watch a show. Yet on this sunny Sunday afternoon as we take a bench for the Family Dance Festival not all is at it may seem. Talking flowers, a dancing toy soldier and a zany wedding party………………………..

Some people talk TO their flowers and even hug trees while one politician has a wet compost heap but we won’t go there. In this case we are talking about (and listening to) two very special flowers. Very, very, very, very (and the other one more very) shy and in need of lots of encouragement including fertiliser (and not the type Mr Corbyn puts on his allotment) and normally growing in pairs. The two Wallflowers, as the piece is called, and their more confident male friend Sean Tuan John (also with a flower head and in green) was are dancers Rosalind Haf Brooks and Cêt Haf.  They have to be encouraged to come out from behind their sunglasses and develop some self-confidence to dance and sing for the audience. Ultimately they do step out of their plant pots and we all joined in a flower song, waving plastic blooms around and I certainly laughed a lot.




The bilingual trio acted as compares for the just under an hour of fun, in this Bombastic and Coreo Cymru touring Family Dance Festival.  They introduced a local dance troupe called Motion Detectors (I never did quite work out the name of their dance but a lot of work had clearly gone into it) and the BBC Young Dancer finalist Kate Morris with a pierrot style of solo called Drifter. She then performed a very funky dance that again contained element of this commedia dell’arte feel combined with hip hop in a duet called Toy Story with a colleague Reuel Bertram from Jukebox Collective.

The finale was Gary and Pel’s CarCrash Wedding which never fails to bring a smile and chuckle with its daft humour, gawky yet skilled tumbles and falls, thumps and bumps, and lots of audience participation. Our newly weds, Alex Marshall Parsons as Gary and Lara Ward as Pel, are driving off for their honeymoon, the car breaks down, and pandemonium ensues in this 10 minutes live cartoon which combines elements of clowning, slapstick, silent movie comedy and farce.



At the end Gary and Pel brought lots of the youngsters into a circle for a dance workshop, recreating some of the  moves from their piece and then a mass performance to be watched by the delighted families and friends plus the Wallflowers who could not quite get the confidence to join in.

Such was the enthusiasm of the young children the grown up kept scooping them up as they were so keen to join in.

The festival moves on to Caernarfon and tours Wales until returning to Cardiff for performances outside Wales Millennium Centre from the 11th to 14th of April.

This is dance for fun, for families and for a bit of Easter jollity. No harm in that and better for you than too much chocolate, slumped on a sofa and glued to a screen, so go and join in. You might just blossom.


Images: Mike Smith

Review by Nia, Rhydian and Megan Callaghan with a bit of help from and Mike Smith

Supported by Wales Critics Fund, the membership scheme to mentor new reviewers and support young and freelance reviewers in Wales.


Full details:

Fun, funky and fabulous Family Dance Festival


GALERI, Caernafon

Tues 27 March @ 12:00 | 14:00 | 16:00

Audio Description @ 14:00 (Welsh) & 16:00 (English) with touch tours 15mins before show.


HAFREN, Newtown

Wed 28 & Thur 29 March @ 12:00 | 14:00 | 16:00

Audio Description on Wed 28 only @ 14:00 (Welsh) & 16:00 (English) with touch tours 15mins before show.



Wed 4 April @ 12:00 | 14:00 | 16:00

Audio Description @ 14:00 (Welsh) & 16:00 (English) with touch tours 15mins before show.




Wed 11 & Fri 13 April @ 10:30 | 12:30 | 14:30

Thur 12 & Sat 14 April @ 10:30 | 12:30 | 16:00

Audio Description on Sat 14 only @ 12:30 (Welsh) & 16:00 (English) with touch tours 15mins before show.


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