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STOMP marches into Columbus


The dance production STOMP, known for its heavy incorporation of percussion, is scheduled to perform at the Palace Theatre this weekend. The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, along with Broadway Across America, is presenting the show while the tour travels along the East Coast.


“STOMP wants to show the audience that music can be made anywhere with anything and it can be spectacular,” CAPA publicist Rolanda Copley said in an e-mail.


The key identifier about the show is the cast’s use of anything but instruments to make different rhythms and beats. According to stomponline.com, in one week alone, the company has used 30 brooms, eight bananas, 15 pounds of sand, 10 poles, eight garbage can lids and more.


“What we want the audience to get out of the show is to have fun,” STOMP performer Elec Simon said. “It’s like a train that the audience can jump on with us.”


Simon is originally from Smithville, Ohio, and resides in Canton when not touring with the group. He’s a percussionist and tapper and co-wrote “HeartBeat,” a traditional African rhythmic piece used in the production.


Simon also has his own dance company called HeartBeat Afrika, which does a number of performances, including drum circles at prisons.


STOMP originated in Brighton, England, in 1991 from the minds of Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The show debuted in the United States at the Orpheum Theater in New York City. In 2004, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary in New York, where Second Avenue was renamed Stomp Avenue, according to stomponline.com. Its 5,000th performance was in 2006.  


The current tour started last September and the company also went to South America for a few performances. The troupe members change every few performances, so the audience always gets a slightly different lineup.


“STOMP has some choreography similar to a dance event, but the focus of the production is the percussion element,” Copley said.


The troupe often uses trash cans as drums, wooden poles as drumsticks and trash can lids as cymbals.


“Every show is different,” Simon said. “The creators are always changing the show to challenge us.”


He said that in one upcoming performance, the cast will be throwing paint cans around the stage.


The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, with showings at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. The troupe will travel to Williamsport, Pa., after its stop in Columbus.

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