STOMPing its way into Portland

When you were a kid (or maybe some of you who have kids have done this), did you ever get put on the floor with a bunch of bowls and some spoons and allowed to make as much noise as you wanted?

When you were a kid (or maybe some of you who have kids have done this), did you ever get put on the floor with a bunch of bowls and some spoons and allowed to make as much noise as you wanted? In that moment, you were able to become composer, conductor and performer in your own kitchen symphony. That said, have you ever wanted to see this done on a much more impressive level?

Get ready, because STOMP, the percussion and dance troupe phenomenon famous for its use of everything from trash can lids to matchboxes, is coming to the Keller Auditorium March 11–13, and this year’s show promises to be a big hit. Maybe you’ve heard of STOMP, maybe you haven’t. But the fact is, if you haven’t yet seen STOMP, then you have been missing out on a truly amazing experience. Luckily, your chance to rectify this is at hand.

The eight-member ensemble will take the stage for a total of five performances. Tickets range from $47 to $161, depending, of course, on where you choose to sit. As of time of writing, there was already at least one Saturday show sold out, so make sure you go online to as soon as possible to save your seats.

STOMP provides a show that is appropriate for all ages—mixing beats, movement and striking set pieces with its utterly unique style. STOMP is perhaps best know for utilizing all manner of objects—except traditional percussion instruments—to fill the stage with rhythm and wonder during its fantastic high-energy shows. This year, the troupe is unveiling two new routines, as well as a restructured show, which will feature some new props.

STOMP premiered at the Bloomsburry Theatre in the summer of 1991 in Brighton, U.K., and was the brainchild of Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell. The two got their start working together in a street performance group in the UK in 1981. Their group performed a routine called “Bins” in a commercial for Heineken, choreographed by Cresswell, which later became the starting point for STOMP. Soon after its debut, STOMP was performing to sold-out audiences across the globe. Everywhere from London to Hong Kong to Sydney was feeling the STOMP beat.

In the years that followed, STOMP began touring the U.S., performed at the Academy Awards, filmed commercials for audiences worldwide, built up a huge fanbase and won numerous awards for everything from its choreography to its avant-garde style. The group was also nominated for an academy award for its short film titled “Brooms.”

Performers use their bodies as well as all sorts of props, which include matchboxes, pots, pans, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, paint cans, tractor tires and hubcaps. Every week, STOMP performers go through a massive amount of props, due in part to the intensity with which they use them in their shows. It is estimated they use approximately 30 brooms, eight trashcan lids, five garbage bins, 10 six-and-a-half foot poles, 15 pounds of sand, 12 pairs of drumsticks and 12 boxes of matches per show. In addition, the performers use four blocks of athlete’s chalk, eight bananas, and 200 liters of water per week. When you come to see STOMP, you know you’re in for a show that the performers love doing and really put their hearts into.

If you’ve seen STOMP before, you know that no two performances are the same. The performers get a lot of energy from the crowd, which makes the experience exciting for those on stage as well as those in the audience. So whether you’re a STOMP veteran or a first-timer, come down to the Keller this week and see what all the noise is about. ?