Stomp! Kuwait – DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

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(Warning: May Contain Spoilers!)
What do a banana peel, a matchbox and a plastic bag have in common?
In case you have not heard, on the radio or through social media, Eventmania, as is expected of them given their current track record of putting Kuwait on the entertainment map, dazzled the people of Kuwait by bringing them the spectacular theatrical show known as Stomp, percussionists with an attitude and imagination, to our local ice-skating rink!

The performance is unique in that it provides melody and tunes from common items that we see and pass by every day not once ever stopping to consider their potential for musical performance. It is a perfect blend of synchronization, improvisation and above all imagination. Stomp transcends all linguistic barriers as audiences are transfixed with the movements and melodies with little interruptions of verbal communication, save the occasional grunt as passed down from our neanderthal ancestors.

The show transcends what anyone would imagine when going to a “musical”. To the keen observer, Stomp is not merely a musical performance; it is a theatrical piece complete with a jester and cleverly placed innuendo that will leave many squealing in delight as to having “gotten it”.

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At a casual glance, the performers appear to be your every-day average Tom, Dick, Harry & Henrietta, ranging in size and grace from the agile-yet-obese, the scrawny and the limber to the chiseled physique that may have just gone a few rounds with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a wrestling ring. It is their command of their bodies and instruments that bewitches you, as anything placed between their fingers is instantly transformed into a musical instrument. Anything, including but not limited to the aforementioned banana peel, matchbox and plastic bag.

One would think that running two shows a night for 5 nights would bring an element of monotony into the acts. That could not be farther from the truth; with a total of 12 performers, 8 take to the stage per show. Each show is quite different than the other, with improv involving the spectators that is sure to leave you clapping like a performing seal at sea world. Stomp never grows stale, as is evident by the fire in the eyes of the performers as they effortlessly execute what undoubtedly has taken them many years of endless practice to perfect. The show is synchronized with the precision of an army drill sergeant, as every twist and turn finds the performers coming face-to-face with each other, landing their poles, broom sticks, trash can lids, basketballs and paint pails in harmonious synchonicity together.

As the lights dimmed and the performers began to, as their name suggests, stomp their way into our hearts, I found myself wondering initially whether they were stomp-syncing, as my then frail senses were not ready for what was about to occur. Throughout the performance, you will find yourself constantly straining your neck in a feeble to attempt to discern “where did that sound come from?” as your senses are bombarded from left, right, above and below. The transitions between sets were flawless, the lights syncing perfectly with the show (save for the annoying green “EXIT” sign near the entrance, far from the stage yet still an eye-sore).

Stomp engulfs you in that it starts off slowly, gaining momentum into a climactic euphoria of sights and sounds that has the audience spell bound and tapping their feet (not just the people in the front row who had to do this regularly to prevent their feet from freezing as a result of the ice below!) and once again bringing the audience down to a rolling stop.

Stomp with Ayman and Shrouk

We have it on good authority that half the profits taken home by the performers are spent on Aspirin and ear-plugs!

After the production is over you will find yourself overwhelmed with a feeling of euphoric bliss, like all the parts of the puzzle that is life have fallen together into a brilliant masterpiece and that you are part of it. You will find yourself snapping your fingers and tapping your feet, desperate to get your hands on anything so that the world can hear your latent inner-talent of making music from garbage. You will rush to get your hands on a basketball, a newspaper, a discarded plastic bottle or even a shopping cart at the supermarket to begin your musical journey.

Please don’t.

Thank you Eventmania for continuing to rise to the challenge and bring a taste of global culture to our desert oasis.

For more info (link)

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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