The Smash hit STOMP hits the Fabulous Fox Theater March 2nd – 6th. This production, originally created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNichols, is comprised of performers (dancers and musicians) who use movement along with everyday objects to create mesmerizing rhythms and breathtaking choreography. The objects include brooms, trash cans, lighters, sinks, trash bags and sand to name a few. It is a super cool show, appropriate for audience members of all ages.
As a professional dancer in NYC in the 90’s, I’ve had a special relationship with the show STOMP for over a decade. It started off with a pre-career trip to the Big Apple with a college group. I was so moved by the sounds, choreography, creativity, performances and pure athleticism of this show, that it solidified my decision to move to NY and pursuit a career in the performing arts. If that kind of work was out there, I was in.
As my life in the Big City unfolded, I made it a point to go see the show a few more times with family and guests. With each viewing I became more and more enthralled with this eclectic collage of movement and sound. Not to mention the performer’s bodies were kickin’. I was actually bold enough auditioned for it once, and am proud to say I got called back out of 2500 other dancers. Sadly, It wasn’t in the cards for me (I was taken in other directions), but being so close to STOMP’s greatness definitely was, and still is, a highlight.
As time passed I started working in Higher education, trying to fill the shoes of my mentors and inspire fledgling dancers to develop and “eye” for good theater and dance. So I purchased a DVD of the company in STOMP Out Loud. This video features portions of the stage show and newer choreography site specific to the streets of NY. I used this DVD as a teaching tool. As an example of how dance can be pushed to its limits. Many of my students have written collegiate papers on the subject.
As I became a mom and now living in this grand city of Atlanta, STOMP weaved its way back into my life again. When my daughter turned 2, she became obsessed with the DVD, as 2 year olds do. I think we watched it every day for a few good months.
Imagine my delight when my daughter, now about to turn 6, wanted to see the live STOMP performance as an early birthday present. Yahoo!!! There was no question, I had to oblige.
My chair could not contain the excitement I felt when the lone dancer broke out in rhythms with an industrial broom. I stopped breathing when the entire company, with their beautifully defined deltoids, joined him in powerful unison. My daughter was mesmerized as they moved on to humorous match box quartets and interactive clapping scenes. I hadn’t remembered how funny the show was, until my daughter burst out into giggles next to me. I had forgotten how invested the audience gets and how part of the show we become.
The show has evolved since the ‘90s. It still includes the classic Trash can lid duets, the incredibly clever sink quartet, and the warrior like wooden pole ensemble, but there were some great new surprises as well. At one point, 6 performers wore these giant rubber inner tubes, like prehistoric ballet tutus, and they included the basket ball scene from their Stomp Out Loud show. So for those of you who have loved this show, as I have, there are fresh new moments for you to enjoy.
In a nut shell, we went and they did not disappoint. It has passed the test of time and become a classic in my eyes. Audience members of all kinds will enjoy STOMP, from the average Joe to the college student, the jaded performer to the fresh mind of a child. I was as inspired and fulfilled as I was the first time I saw the show over a decade ago. I would venture to say, even more so now, because I got to share this experience with my daughter, the next generation of performing artist.
Jennifer McLester is our newest addition at The Backstage Beat. Welcome Jennifer.
As an accomplished dancer, we welcome your insight into different events Atlanta has to offer.