CULTURE

Innovative entertainers bring explosive rhythms to Greece

“Every one of our shows is the same, yet always somehow different,» says the ensemble known as Stomp. The joyously noisy group is hard to resist. Fresh and charming, they combine acting, music and dance on a stage calibrated by rhythm. Stomp is now in Greece for five performances at Athens’s Lycabettus Theater which kick off tonight and will run to Friday, and another three shows at Thessaloniki’s Dassos Theater on September 4-6. The Stomp ensemble does not need to use words to entertain their audience. The performers create their magic through old and seemingly useless objects, such as tins, buckets and beer cans. The performers have been touring the world for 13 years. Steve McNicholas, one of the group’s founders, talked to Kathimerini. What is new about this year’s Stomp performance in Greece? The spectacle is basically the same, although two new acts have been added. Nonetheless, every performance is unique, since every time the contributors are different and, of course, the audience is also different. How difficult is it to maintain your group’s reputation and the good quality of your shows? I think that as long as our shows continue to inspire people to create music from any object of daily use, then our idea will live on. I also believe that audiences respond to our shows because they are contagious and our interpreters have humor. People see what we do and they think that they could do the same. They can identify with a lot of things, music, dance, theater and comedy, all in one. In a few words, how would you describe the experience of one of your shows? We like to entertain, to provoke and to inspire. When the audience leaves a show and tries to make rhythm with everything it meets on its way out, then we feel we are successful. How was the group founded? The original idea came from the tradition of busking. Our challenge was to take the idea off the street and turn it into a theater show. What was also interesting to us was to create a show where rhythm acted as narration. That was very useful, because we overcame the language problem. We play all over the world, since everyone can understand the language of rhythm. What are your goals? Our goal is to prove that we can create something out of nothing, that rhythm is everywhere and that we don’t need a reason to communicate. How do you prepare for a show and how do you relax afterward? Simple as it may sound, performers need to look after their heath. They have to rest and eat normally. Everyone does their own kind of warm-up, because group members come from different backgrounds. Our shows are very physical and they all need to prepare their bodies. At least an hour before the show we all get together to do some exercises so we can all bond as a group. As for later… we usually relax with a cold beer. Tickets can be purchased at Virgin music stores, Village cinemas, the Athens Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou) and Ticketshop (www.ticketshop.gr). For further information, log on to the website www.stomp.gr.