MFMF debuts dance floor



Mission Folk Music Festival (MFMF) Society is debuting its unique tunable dance floor this week, and to celebrate the occasion, Matt Gordon, Boris Sichon, Jennie Bice, festival director Francis Xavier, and the Gallus Brothers will be performing in The Well Tempered Dance Floor on May 13 at St. Joseph’s church hall.

Gordon, a musician and dancer, is also the master carver who built the dance box, commissioned by MFMF.

It’s comprised of three resonator boxes held together in a frame with an industrial quality flooring on the surface. There are mechanisms underneath to tune the floor, giving every inch of it a different sound.

“Once you know where the tones are, you can play a tune,” explained the carver.

Three people can dance on the four-foot by eight-foot box comfortable, but eight people could fit on it in a circus act, said Gordon, who designed the surface to be an instrument as much as a box to jump on.

“Several factors had to be considered,” he said. “How it felt to dance on, how it looked to the audience, and the sound.”

Gordon also had to create something that would be portable, easy to set up, and kid-friendly.

“It’s the only one like it as far as I know,” noted Gordon, who worked on the project for two months.

“It’s nice to see something like this take shape,” said Xavier, who had been thinking about the project for 10 years.

Xavier saw a prototype that lodged into the floor which Gordon built, and since then he thought it ought to be something the local festival should include.

“The festival has always had an interest in dance, and we try to include it and feature it,” he explained.

Gordon and Xavier connected again recently and Gordon played at MFMF for the first time last year.

Gordon will be returning to the festival this year. Although he plays the fiddle, harmonica and hambone, Gordon will be the resident dancer, and putting on workshops and performances.

Gordon started out as a wood carver and has been dancing for 25 years. He finds a way to work his life around both passions. He has worked with the Fiddle Puppet dancers and was part of the cast of the London production of Riverdance, where he had a solo, and his woodworking skills have brought him to Africa, Ireland and across North America.

Friday’s night’s performance will take place at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $18 each at Murdoch’s Book Shoppe on First Avenue or online at Tickets will also be available for $20 each at the door. Tickets are $10 for kids age 17 and under.

All proceeds from the event will support the 24th annual Mission Folk Music Festival in July.

For more information e-mail or call 604-820-0088.