4B - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, October 22, 1998
Even cast members can't put
meaning of Stomp into words
The Michigan Daily Weeke
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Stomp creates their unique sound by using household like brooms as instruments.
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By Suevon Lee
For the Daily
A renowned and impressive show
stomped its way, literally, into Ann
Arbor's Power Center Oct. 19 and
20. The group was "Stomp," a trav-
eling act that uses everyday items to
make music on a fast-paced rhyth-
mic beat. By pounding on items
such as trash cans, matchboxes, rub-
ber tubes, "Stomp" separates itself
from other performance groups by
creating music from ordinary,
"Stomp's" unique, original flair
was what intrigued 27 year-old cast
member Mario Torez when he
decided he wanted to join the group.
Originally a tap dancer, Torez
auditioned for Stomp a few years
ago in New York. He remembers the
experience as a very difficult audi-
tion because Stomp is a small
group. Consisting of only three
women and five men who perform
on stage, competition for stage slots
was very fierce. Torez said most of
the performers in the group have
some experience in the world of
musical performance, if not a com-
plete drama- and production-related,
"Most cast members were either
actors or dancers before joining
Stomp," Torez said.
The group members who have a
background in performance are
attracted to the free-form and let-
loose style of Stomp, which allows
creative expression and a unique
presentation in each show.
"Stomp explores one genre," said
Torez. "It explores rhythm and
members are usually free to impro-
vise on stage."
Stomp's original founders, Luke
Cresswell and Steve McNicholas,
came up with the idea about four
and a half years ago.
"We make a rhythm out of any-
thing we can get our hands on that
Void of any "SOMP e.
music or any
text, members our genre
use only drum
sticks to cre- explores i
The music and memi
they make has/
been com- usually fr
pared to .-
passages to a
Zippo lighters and wooden poles.
While giving live performances a
cast member may fall off a beat or
that the group may lose its sync.
"Sometimes we may lose our
rhythm, but we never let the audi-
ence know," said Torez. That's part
of both the trick and talent Stomp
carries under its feet come perfor-
Torez said Stomp's unique style
and flavor cannot be compared to
any other performance. Although
"Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in da
Funk" and even "Riverdance" have
qualities similar to Stomp's style, as
all three concentrate on rhythm,
synchronization and stomping on
something, according to Torez, to
make such a comparison would be
"Stomp" comes from its own
place," he said.
For a contingent that sifts through
junked and garbage items in search
of potential musical instruments,
from what society
lores has already
thrown away is
It nothing new. In
fact, Torez said
Oyh"Stomp" has cre-
ated its own
Ors are unique musical
domain thanks to
!e tOtheir choice of
on The group has
been a continued
success since it
- Mario Torrez first launched its
cast member tour in 1993.
There's this great little network out
there that makes variety television worth
its air time. It's called E! Entertainment
Television, and it's one of the greatest
gifts to TV ever
A couple of
weeks ago, I
caught the last
half of "E!
Lee." Now nor-
mally, I don't
have the oppor- Kristingf
tunity to watch Daily Arts Editor
Kathie Lee on a regular basis, let alone
get the skinny on the show, so when E!
took me (and others, I guess) behind the
scenes, it was a blessing in the form of
an electronic box. Granted, it was on a
Friday night, but it was early, I swear.
Let's just say I can be easily amused,
and with this in mind, it is simple to
understand my interest in and fascina-
tion with what, to some, may seem like
mindless, fluffy babble. I suppose this is
a characteristic that helps in my appreci-
ation of E!, but let's simplify our minds
for a moment.
"Behind the Scenes" is one of the
brighter aspects of E! Along with it,
though, are such fine programs such as
"E! News Daily" - if Kmetko isn't a
cool last name for Steve, the anchor, I
don't know what is - and "Coming
Granted, the latest additions of the
programs "Fashion Emergency" and
"Mysteries and Scandals" spread the
network's programming a little thin.
Even the "Gossip Show" tends to border
on the lame side. But for the sake of
being positive, I won't dwell on the neg-
In the overall scheme of things,
though, two words capture the breath-
taking essence of this network. Two
words make it all it can be, and then
some. Two words, very simple: "Talk
I don't know who thought of this fine
masterpiece of television, but it is exact-
ly what variety TV should be. There's
humor, dialogue and sarcasm-and the
silence can be equally as funny as the
At first, when Greg Kinnear was in the
control seat, I thought that there could be
little improvement to the show and it's
presentation. His sarcasm and wit were
the srzme de la creme of humor. His
acknowledgment of the absurdity of talk
show guests and hosts could even make
me feel slightly normal, and this, I assure
you, is a major bonus. My mom and I rel-
ished in the nightly show, and it became a
ritual. Maybe it was one of those bonding
But then, Kinnear started on the
whole late-night television bit, and also
tried his hand at becoming a leading sil-
ver-screen comic. I was slightly dis-
traught. It was clear he had potential to
excel on his own, but I didn't want to
watch the show any more without him. I
thought there could never be another
host as funny.
But then I finally got a grip, and hello
- there was John Henson.
Henson and his sometimes juvenile
yet almost always witty humor makes
me want to watch E! 24-7. (Well, not
really, but if it gets my point across then
it was worth writing it.)
Even with his little skunk mark in his
seemingly all-brown hair helmet, this
man makes me laugh, and for that he
It's not that my life is so pathetic that I
wait for "Talk Soup" to air everyday, but
for some reason, whenever I take a break
from studying or working on some ener-
gy-consuming project, it always seems
to be on. It's like it's fate or destiny.
Perhaps, it means nothing at all, but
I'll work with it.
Budapest Festival Orchestra I1
appeared in numerous prime-time
line-ups including sitcoms, late-
night talk shows, performed at the
68th Academy Awards, the Kennedy
Center Honors and even in a few
commercials, including Coca-Cola
and Target. "Stomp" is even up for
an Academy Award for the short
action film, "Brooms."
"Stomp" is working on five years
now. Who knows when it will beat
the most they can out of those trash
"The group will stick around for an
indefinite time,"said Torez. If they con-
tinue to use materials we don't give a
second glance to in our own lives,
"Stomp" should continue to produce a
sound that is truly one of a kind.
SDon't let your
H A F--R
get ahead of ,,9
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Henson wraps up the
within the talk show we
me from wasting my til
that frequently is feature
Springer Show" or some
ma of the sort.
As if we didn't know
people on that show don
this world. If they do, is
sary to waste precious T
them? No, except for the
Henson and "Talk So
great to poke fun at.
Not only does Henso
capture the best n
"Springer" and "Sally,"
but his little side comme
entertainment. The folk
those shows lack attentio
a two-minute spot on "
it's perfectly acceptable
raise his brow at them or
dity to a new level. It's all
it's all about normality, o
But it's not just the t
Henson jokes that makes
watching. Because I a
crazy fools who tries to
time before dawn, I
O'Brien, one of the i
shows available. Th
Soup" fills me in on wli
I don't feel so out of the
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Don't pass up this great opportunity.
Central Campus Rush Outlet
Michigan Union Ticket Office
on the day of the event, 9 A.M.-
5 P.M., Monday through Friday
(Friday for weekend events).
North Campus Rush Outlet
At Pierpont Commons next to
Little Caesar's on Thursdays,
11 A.M.-1:30 P.M. (for Thursday
through Wednesday events).
Bring your valid student
ID. There is a two ticket
limit per student. Tickets
are subject to availability.
University Musical Society 734.764.2538