This Labor Day Weekend the stage lights at the Durham Performing Arts Center will shine once again as the touring production of STOMP returns to the theater with three exciting shows this Saturday and Sunday (September 4th and 5th). After an almost 18-month pause of the Broadway Series at DPAC due to the pandemic, STOMP is poised to be the perfect high-energy filled show to launch DPAC’s 2021/2022 Broadway season!
STOMP has remained a fan favorite among theater goers of all ages around the world since its inception in the United Kingdom back in the early 1990’s. The show is a unique and explosive experience featuring a talented cast of eight performers that use a variety of everyday objects as percussion instruments, everything from matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. The show is a 90-minute journey that combines elements of music, dance and humor that will fill the audience with a constant sense of wonder how the troupe can find sound and create such unique rhythms from so many objects.
In preparation for the show I spoke with dancer Riley Korrell, a Maryland native and current cast member of STOMP. We chatted about what it’s like to be back on stage and what audiences can expect during the show at DPAC this weekend. Korell is an accomplished tap dancer who has competed in tap competitions all over the country. Landing a spot in the cast of STOMP three years ago is a “dream come true” for him. In many ways, he views the 2021 tour as something of a “redemption tour” because it allows him and his cast mates to pick up where they left off when the show were paused back in 2019 due to the pandemic.
For his part, Korrell used that time away from the stage to work at his mother’s dance studio back in Maryland where he kept in dancing shape by creating instructional dance videos for the students. While he loves to teach he couldn’t be happier to be back on tour and performing with the cast of STOMP.
When asked what the audience can expect, Korrell was quick to point out that there is something for everyone in this show as it provides a unique marriage of sound, rhythms, dance and lighting that connects with the senses and core emotions. There have been some updates to the show over the years so even seasoned theater goers are sure to pick up on moves and rhythms they may have missed last time.
In Korrell’s opinion, one of the most beautiful things about the show is that when the viewer takes a step back – everybody on stage is really just doing their own, creating their own sounds and rhythms, but these individual actions all merge together seamlessly into an “experience” as they all add up into a visual spectacular. The result is a hypnotic and positive energy filled show that takes hold of the audience’s imagination and emotions through the inventive mixture of rhythms, tempos and sounds that communicate feelings the talented troupe on stage.
With STOMP the experience is the unique beauty of the sum of all the parts.
STOMP takes the stage this Saturday and Sunday at DPAC. For tickets visit: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/stomp-2021