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STOMP: No dialogue, no plot – all music, percussion and thrills

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Take an excellent drum line and turn it into a dance corp. Then give it acting lessons and drop it off in New York City. Provide a spot on Broadway and tell it to create a show with whatever it can find in the allies. The result may look a little like STOMP.

STOMP, an international percussion group, performed June 7-12 at Music Hall at Fair Park as part of the Dallas Summer Musicals program. Unlike most shows given in Music Hall, STOMP contained no dialogue and no plot. It was all music, all percussion.

STOMP is also unlike most musical troupes. The eight person group uses no traditional instruments. Instead, they use matchboxes, plastic bags, brooms, lighters, street signs and other items to create rhythms.

According to dallassummermusical.org, the STOMP tour uses the following items on a weekly bases: 288 liters of water, two gallons of floor paint, 40 newspapers, 20 pounds of sand, two ACE bandages, 10 booties, four boxes of tissues, three ball point pens and much more.

The wide variety of items used inspired USA Today to comment, “STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places.” And on this stop in Dallas, STOMP preformed two new routines, using tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans.

The unique musical performance was first created in Brighton, U.K., in 1991 as the brainchild of Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. Since its creation, STOMP has performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries. According to dallassummermusicals.org, it is the most financially successful Off-Broadway show ever. It has appeared in commercials, short films and the Academy Awards.

“STOMP Out Loud,” a television special for HBO received four Emmy nominations and later opened in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

“Some theatrical phenomena reach beyond a single definition,” Mark Schumann, film critic for Hersam-Acorn newspapers, wrote in the STOMP Playbill. “STOMP is a phenomenon that defies conventional description. The show takes things we see every day and integrates them into a performance to remind us that musical energy can come from the most unique of sources. And, along the way, STOMP thrills us too.”




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