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BWW Reviews: STOMP Returns to Manila

BWW Reviews: STOMP Returns to Manila
STOMP cast in action during press preview at the Cultural
Center of the Philippines (Photo: Clement Fajardo)

By Ginnie Faustino-Galgana

Manila, Philippines--Tap dance on 'roids and LSD* -- that is what STOMP is.

The genteel public would be familiar with the beats and rhythms of tap dancing. Make that about a hundred times noisier with the use of everyday objects and body parts instead of special tap shoes. Plug in a bit of humor and whole lot of attitude. Then you'll have a STOMP performance.

From beginning to end, this gamut of beats does not fail to draw you into the world of pats, taps, claps, snaps, and everyday noises. You get sucked into a world where no words are uttered but you find joy in the happy movements and synchronized throws, hits, and rolls.

The ensemble is a team--they work together in a way that makes the entire performance a real treat to the eyes and ears. They literally play on the stage. Using sticks, grocery carts, pots and pans, even the kitchen sink, they create rhythms. It is a joy to watch the combat-like choreography of the sticks and the garbage lids. It is also delightful to witness the "manual Christmas lights" routine they do with the lighters. And all these are done because they work very well together.

And the big surprise? You've got this big-haired dude who happens to be a Filipino, and he opens the whole performance. Andres Fernandez, a 17-year Stomper, is on the stage for most of the two hours. He figures in the most number of sequences and takes the audience into his rhythmic control, sometimes with nothing more than his hands and fingers. He is amazing in his command of the Stomp-style percussion playing. Truly, someone Filipinos would be proud of.

BWW Reviews: STOMP Returns to Manila
Photo: Clement Fajardo

In the end, even the audience participates in the production of the rhythm. Yes, prepare to clap, not just in appreciation, but also in sheer delight for being a part of this awesome show.

Following its Philippine premiere in 2011, London's West End and Off-Broadway's percussion sensation, STOMP, returns to the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) main theater until Sunday, June 22.

STOMP showcases performers who use ordinary objects as musical instruments, i.e. brooms, dust bins, boxes of matches, plumbing fixtures, and supermarket trolleys, among others, while they show off their dance moves and flair for comedy.

Performed in more than 50 countries and before more than 24 million people, the show has won the Olivier Award for Best Choreography,an Obie Award, Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a special citation from Best Plays. Its HBO presentation "Stomp Out Loud" received an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy Award nominations, and one Emmy Award. Some of its noteworthy TV appearances include The London 2012 Olympic Games' closing ceremony and the Academy Awards.

For tickets to STOMP at the CCP, call (632)891-9999 or visit

*According to, "LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), first synthesized in 1938, is an extremely potent hallucinogen... The user may experience extreme changes in mood, feel several different emotions at once, or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations... Sensations may seem to 'cross over,' giving the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds." This was a popular recreational drug in the '50s.

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