Written By | Bianca Theodore
Photo By | Steve McNicholas
STOMP was a consummate experience: every snap, clap, perfectly timed step and stunt assaulted the senses.
It was as much a stunning visual as it was an auditory feat. Everyday objects such as brooms and buckets and toothpick boxes were rendered music instruments, the stage itself a giant prop to be used at the dancers’ disposal.
This was no ordinary Broadway show, no dainty ballet or old English play.
Not only did STOMP push the boundary, they crushed it beneath the sole of Timbs turned tap shoes.
According to stomponline.com, the show is “inventive and invigorating”, a performance that is “dance, music, and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm;” an ambitious description for a show that defies definition.
An eight person troupe carries the intermission-less performance, but the high speed pace keeps the audience at the edge of their seats the entire time- talk less of a bathroom break or a popcorn refill.
Set in an eclectic junkyard, the dancers play a ragtag group of drifters, outfitted in worn jeans and grease stained t shirts. It is part of the ruse, for just as a “hobo” gives innovative use to seemingly useless objects, so did the dancers of STOMP.
Lead dancer Andrew Brought was striking, a natural charmer that instantly captured the crowd. The rest of the troupe was just as captivating, well-oiled cogs in a machine that smoothly played off of one another.
However, the true star of the show was Cade Slattery. Slattery stole the show with welcome comedic relief and unexpected hilarity. He was endearingly awkward in his role of Mozzie, the awkward goofball who perpetually lagged one step behind the others.
But even behind step, somehow everyone was still in step; a rhythmic feat that is as
unexplainable as it sounds. Every performance topped the next, crescendoing from making simple, steady beats with a pipe to increasingly intricate, layered melodies with rusted sinks.
There was no orchestra, but the crowd provided the score; every awed “ooh” and impassioned “whoop” of encouragement a part of its own soundtrack. Each time the audience felt they had seen it all, the STOMP ensemble topped themselves, literally hanging by harnesses at some point in the percussionist show.
And before they left, the cast made sure to include the crowd in the troupe as well. Brought led the crowd in an exciting flash percussionist tutorial, and had the crowd in stitches as they clumsily attempted their own staccato claps and snaps.
But as the cast took a bow, the only tempo in the theatre was the steady chant for an encore, and resounding applause.