After two decades of impressing audiences around the globe, the Brighton, UK and Manhattan-based dance troupe known as Stomp has come back to Australian shores.
My first exposure to the troupe was in the US back in 1997, at the Orpheum Theatre, by which time New Yorkers had already enjoyed numerous performances over the years. For me it was all very new. I was impressed by its originality and awestruck from the first matchbox shake.
If you have never heard of Stomp, imagine a sort of post apocalyptic junkyard, where its inhabitants or workers have rummaged through the scraps and salvaged such things as large plastic rubbish bins, metal paint buckets, shopping trolleys, rubber tubes, newspapers, etc. After which, these overall clad scruffy individuals perform a mind blowing percussion symphony which varies from Spanish Flamenco-like clapping to Brazilian Samba drumming and whistle blowing, incorporating acrobatics and gut busting deadpan humour.
With tickets in hand and in line to enter Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre, I was curious to find out how Stomp had endured the test of time. Did the show still deliver a ‘stomp’ or was it a mere ‘tip toe’ shadow of itself?
The stage was familiar, but it seems to have evolved a bit. Street signs from around the world have been added, like rubber stamps in a passport, they are a testament of the group’s travels.
As the performers began sweeping, banging and stomping onto the stage, it occurred to me that Stomp is very much an “international” show. Its absence of words allows it to be understood by everyone and anyone no matter their native tongue. Like Charlie Chaplin’s silent films successfully communicated to all who watched them, Stomp transcends culture and language, and now even time.
The show is loud, very loud. So much so, that a vibration can be felt in one’s chest throughout the duration of the performance. However, this is not an uncomfortable experience, on the contrary, it is similar to the vibrating sound made in Yoga, while humming a loud ‘Om.’ Small children were unfazed by it (there were infants present), perhaps they were entranced by the percussion beat like the rest of us.
After all these years, Stomp is still a thrill to watch, no matter the age of its audience. It is silly at times, and absolutely captivating all of the time, no wonder there have been so many spinoffs and imitations of the show, over the years.
13 – 18 August, 2013
Bookings: Ticketek.com.au | 1300 795 012
20 – 25 August, 2013
Bookings: Ticketmaster.com.au | 1300 111 011
27 August – 1 September, 2013
Her Majesty’s Theatre
Bookings: Bass.net.au | 131 246
3 – 8 September, 2013
Bookings: Canberratheatrecentre.com.au | 02 6275 2700
From 10 September, 2013
Bookings: Ticketmaster.com.au | 1300 723 038