April 6, 2023

Hoo Sook Hwang
AAP columnist

Percussion and dance using inflated vehicle inner-tubes in “STOMP” at the Ordway this week. (Photo by Steve McNicholas)

ST. PAUL (Oct. 18, 2016) — On Monday night the Broadway show, Stomp engaged Twin Cities audience members in percussive dance numbers that rocked the house.

From Oct. 17-21, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas bring their world renown Broadway show to the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. This show energizes the human heart regardless of age or musical preference. The natural talent of the dancers who simultaneously played percussion while executing decisive dance moves made it hard for me to stay in my seat.

The musicians and dancers brought audience members to their feet! Ticket holders were in complete awe of the choreographed dance numbers and synchronized percussion. Musical instruments included brooms, trash cans, metal trash can lids, grocery carts, plastic barrels and inner tubes. Intentional communications by musicians, lifted spirits and rolled through the theater with a boom.

If you’ve recently cleaned out your garage, you may have thrown away items included in the show as unique instruments with the potential to charm and entertain. From plastic bags to matchbooks, they included everything including the kitchen sink.

From beginning to end, each number was creative by itself, but kept me guessing throughout the performance as well. There was nothing routine about these dance numbers. Each piece included a variety of rhythms, attention-grabbing sounds and provocative humor which made me laugh and touched my heart.

The timing of each performance heavily relied on interwoven, interdependent and curiously combined moves. I can’t imagine the number of rehearsals that go into one performance, let alone an hour and a half of eight dancers masterfully working together in perfect harmony. The stamina, precision and genius of each dancer, reveals incredible levels of gifted athleticism and remarkable flair.

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