On Thursday, the Luhrs Arts Center featured ‘STOMP,’ the international sensation. The cast consisted of eight performers: Micah Cower, Jose Filgueira, Declan Hayden, Madeline Jafari, Zahna Johnson, Riley Korrell, Sean Perham and Cade Slattery.
In the hour and 45-minute performance, they created beat and rhythm by using found objects such as garbage cans, shopping carts, inner tubes, newspapers (from The Slate), brooms, lighters, dish sinks, barrels, road signs, etc.
‘STOMP’ began in 1991, in Brighton, UK. Created by directors Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. Both Cresswell and McNicholas share the Oscar nomination of the short film ‘Brooms,’ the classic opening sequence of the show, and an Emmy Award for the HBO special ‘Stomp Out Loud’ film.
The performance was all wordless, but it still contained comedic elements. Filgueira was the center of amusement a lot of the times. He would bring out the wrong objects on the stage, mock the other cast members and be off beat, which made the audience erupt in laughter. Other members did similar tactics throughout the show.
On stage they had ladders that led to a second floor with a grid-like wall with road signs and many other random metal objects attached. Three performers attached themselves to the wall with a harness and used different hand tools to hit the signs.
The audience was able to interact with the show too. At certain moments, Perham would clap-in so that the audience would clap-out. He would do the same with stomping. The audience continued clapping to a rhythm, and then the performers added a beat to it. It allowed the audience to be a part of the performance and not just engaged by watching.
Choreography was a huge factor into the performance because of all the movement going on stage. One could tell that they took a lot of time to practice getting it as flawless as they did. They were completely in sync with each other.
My favorite bit was the shopping carts. The performers had a box and an empty five-gallon water jug in each of their shopping carts and rolled them across stage, using a drumstick to create the percussion. Using the shopping carts as part of the tempo, they smashed a shopping cart into another. It was very entertaining to watching a bumper-car style, using shopping carts to make music. Naturally, the carts were visibly dented after they were done.
The entire length of the show was attention-getting and not one moment I felt bored. It is hard to be not entertained when there are people using unordinary, everyday items as drums, especially right in front of you. It was eye-opening that you can truly make music out of just about anything. If the performers can make music by scrubbing their hands with soap and water, washing dishes, then the possibilities are endless.
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