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A show of ‘STOMP’ and circumstance

October 1, 2009

Published by Metro

Organizers of a musical that began with some guys not wanting to lug around drum sets continue to come up with innovative percussive expressions

Nearly 30 years after a pair of English street performers decided that their drum kits were too heavy to lug around, the stage show “STOMP” is still making music with buckets, brooms and whatever percussive items they can find.

“A lot of the things that we play most people have used that day,” says rehearsal director Donisha Brown.

Though it’s been banging on for almost three decades, “STOMP” is far from the same old song and dance. Every year, the show adds new numbers and revamps the old crowd pleasers. In one of their new pieces this season, “Donut,” performers play giant inner tubes, inspired by the traditional Japanese taiko drum.

Twelve performers travel with the troupe; eight appear on stage at a time. Each must learn to play music, dance and act at the same time, says Brown, in order to become a true “Stomper.”

In another new piece, “Paint Cans,” performers juggle paint cans across the stage from person to person. The music can never stop — if a can drops, it’s “musically horrific,” Brown says.

“When something like that happens, the audience stays with us,” she says. “They know it’s hard.

What we’re doing, it’s not fake.”

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