I have to thank my rellies for taking me along to see Stomp 2009. While I was a big fan a few years ago of the show Tao: the art of Japanese drumming, the idea of Stomp, while similarly percussion-based, also felt to be wrapped up in the ugly paper of tap dance.
Yes, I admit that I am prejudiced against tap dancing. I can admire the skill and dedication, the rhythm required and the technicality of the execution, but if I see a single performer going at it for more than five minutes, I tend to end up in a coma. I find it amazingly, incredibly, and tautologically tediously dull.
So I was pleasantly surprised when the incredible performers in Stomp only gave in a couple of times to tap dancing solos. For most of the time, they were dancing collaboratively, or hitting or rubbing or rustling something to make (mostly) loud and inspirational music.
During the performance I did have a Scrubs-like side bar moment, imagining what the casting call must have looked like. The performers on stage were a United Colours of Beneton mix of unbelievably talented dancers and/or musicians, and finding people who would meet those exacting requirements and, in some cases, be willing to act in roles that were defined by their looks must have been an incredibly difficult task.
I was surprised that there was no intermission during the performance, but then the whole thing was choreographed to allow the performers to relax a bit from time to time, but not get too warmed down and thus be unable to perform to their best later. There were the odd mishaps, though nothing so cataclysmic that the show came grinding to a halt.
Overall, the Stomp 2009 was an amazing spectacle. Given the option of seeing this or Tao again… Hmmn, I am not altogether sure which I would prefer. All I know is that I wouldn’t be let down either way.
Verdict: Stomp 2009 banged its way into my affection. An incredible mix of different ethnicities, sexed and body types came together in a smashingly good time. 8 Dr Marten’s boots out of 10.