Since I am extremely interested in dance as a whole, I make an extra effort to come on here to post up any dance-related stories I write so this is a story I wrote for the school paper this week about STOMP in the city, helping out the Edmonton Food Bank in their “STOMP Out Hunger” campaign. To be fair STOMP is I guess more musical than it is dance but it still has several elements of dance and movement so it definitely counts!
I was kind of bummed I hadn’t brought my digital camera with me because I’d love to have filmed their impromptu performance and also get a fangirly-type photo with them because, well, I can’t turn away a photo op with performers!
Anyway here is the article including a photo I took of one of the STOMPers, John Angeles:
STOMPing out hunger
Hitting ceramic bowls. Shaking macaroni and cheese boxes up and down. Slapping an empty paint can. Slamming drum sticks onto the bottom of a flipped-over trash can.
Members from the international percussion sensation STOMP used all of these and more to create an improvised musical show at Edmonton’s Food Bank Tuesday as part of their STOMP out Hunger campaign.
“They wanted to collect food and money at all of their performances to help out as they were in the community,” said Marjorie Bencz, executive director of the Food Bank. “They’re encouraging people to come to their performances and bring a loonie or a toonie or a can of food.”
A few STOMPers performed an impromptu musical piece for volunteers using items found in the food bank’s warehouse. They then spent a part of the day volunteering by sorting food.
“This is like a day in the park for us. We just have a lot of fun,” STOMPer John Angeles said. “It’s such a good feeling to do something to help out.”
The brief performance, which received cheers and applause from food bank volunteers, was just a sample of what STOMP is doing during their Jan. 20-25 run in Edmonton.
STOMP uses trash like plastic bags, plungers, boots, broomsticks and hubcaps – everything except real instruments – to create an exciting and interactive musical production.
“They’re just fabulous. For me, I see a can of food, I see a box of macaroni and cheese, I don’t see it as something to be creative with as they do, so it’s really inspiring,” Bencz said.
She said STOMP Out Hunger is important as it helps highlight the food bank’s need for donations year-round.
“Our needs are throughout the year,” she said.
“We have people who are experiencing poverty throughout the year so it’s important for us to create awareness at various points throughout the year.”
What started as a street performance in Europe 14 years ago, STOMP is now an internationally acclaimed, award-winning show that has been performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries worldwide.
STOMPers can create music out of practically everything.
“Absolutely anything can be made into an instrument,” said Nicholas Young, who has been touring with STOMP for six years. “With STOMP, you walk around and start to learn what things really produce a good tone and the best way to get that tone.”
“I found a paint can here that works great as a hand drum,” he said.
STOMP performs at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium until Sunday.
Here’s a video of their performance and some quick excerpts from John Angeles from the Edmonton Journal’s site:
More blog posts soon!