Sam

Trick or Treat

In Random on November 1, 2014 at 12:47 am

STOMP: Salford Quays

In Dance, Manchester, Random on October 31, 2014 at 3:13 am

I remember seeing their discounted DVD in Fopp, I had a good think and decided against the purchase, as much as I enjoy the idea of rhythm – I wasn’t convinced this was… tap. Whatever went through my mind at that moment, I didn’t think it was for me. A live show however, is an entirely different beast so I just HAD to get tickets – the percussion in a theatre/musical hall must be experienced.

I met SW for a quick bite in The Lowry Outlet food court, she was limping a little but good to see her back up and running after that tap accident two Mondays ago! We were wondering what to expect from Stomp, obviously having seen Tap Factory we expected a lot of similarities – but we both agreed this will probably be led by drummers or percussion specialists, whatever you call them – experts! The excitement was bubbling!

I forgot how lovely Salford Quays is in night time, especially on a cozy autumn evening. It brought a smile to my face as well as a sense of loneliness – at that moment in time, I wish I had someone to walk through the beautiful night with. It really hit me as I walked along the water… that hollow feeling, like a drop in an ocean. I cast that aside… I’m used to it anyway, another time I quickly shrugged. Like amnesia, it was gone.

7:30pm

The programme was only £4, with numerous pages dedicated to advertising, why do I even buy them? Google or Wikipedia can probably tell me everything I need to know about this show. Is it a desire for a souvenir? Or a desire to prove that I’ve been to this event? I acted out of habit, food for thought – I need to alert myself and answer the question next time – why do I need an expensive programme?

STOMP

Deja vu… a sweeper started the show (Tap Factory copied the idea). The following hour and half we were taken into some incredible directions, it was pretty awesome! Rhythm came from anything, brooms, tubes, inflatable doughnuts, metal bins, cans, lighters, paper, sand, basketballs, garbage… and even the kitchen sink. It was a very smooth show, a well-drilled operation as expected because it’s been around for so long, they had TWO decades to hone in and refine the winning formula. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pretty much blown away by the spectacle! It had energy, humour, skills, cool rhythms, it was a very, very good show. I’m glad I came!

The rhythms kept coming, pulling us to the edge of our seats as we marvelled at their highly choreographed display tuned impeccably to the rhythm they’re in. They really took my breath away. They must have clocked immense hours of rehearsal because everything was so intricate, they couldn’t afford to miss a beat. I also loved their humour interspersed throughout, again replicated by Tap Factory – the lighthearted nature was never lost as they allowed each performer to add a little of themselves to the performance. The kids loved it, I burst out laughing too and that says a lot, thumbs up for entertainment.

Tap Factory?

As for the footwork, the distinction between Stomp and Tap Factory is vast – they share similarities in props, sets, costumes, characters, energy and even the audience ‘hand clap’ participation (identical). That’s it. Stomp is power but Tap Factory is finesse. Stomp is aerial, Tap Factory is grace. From a personal perspective I relaxed and enjoyed this whereas in Tap Factory I was fixated on their every step – it was a little more special for me.

I love the Stomp choreography and I admire their discipline, but as an aspiring rhythm tapper – my heart is still with Tap Factory. I can imagine the masses preferring this, the rhythms are there, but I just prefer a different, softer method of delivery.

That’s why I didn’t get the DVD from Fopp, and after the show I had a look at their £14 DVD – it wouldn’t be the same on TV compared to the percussion from stage, you can’t experience the energy, that’s the reason I turned away empty-handed.

I do highly recommend Stomp, it’s spectacular live.

A must see!

LAST EVER Jazz Tap

In Dance on October 29, 2014 at 11:55 pm

SO SAD :(

I’m feeling a little blue, I suppose it’s expected as I have been religiously attending these Wednesday classes since it began, and been on the same journey with Kate as she became a teacher. I didn’t know until tonight that Kate had little prior dance teaching experience, we were her first batch of students to experiment on, we sort of knew she lacked a little structure but by God, did she run with it and blossomed into an incredible Jazz and Tap teacher.

I’m gutted there won’t be another Wednesday night, I’m going back to a mere weekly tap fix – I guess the unused money could be forwarded towards a Studio rental. I’ll find new ways to fill… what is a BIG gap in the middle of my week. Already I’m dreading next week, My Wednesdays are FREE again… I’m gonna be so bored! I just don’t know what to do! Change never come easy…

I had a long day and suffered a couple of ‘blankings’, not even on her last lesson could I allow her reassurance. The steps were typical Kate and lots of complex twists and turns, it was quite hard too… but we had such fun, this was probably the best lesson because we just had a laugh. The girls JW, B and Kate were in giggles half the time – and we didn’t even realise it went past the half hour mark, the end came out of nowhere. 

The combo steps tonight were really fun to chomp into, fast and twisty but cool! I shall miss her style dearly. I like this because of the contrast from Mondays, I love the mix… 

Anyhow, it was an absolute blast to learn from Kate and as much as I miss her unique steps, I will miss her personality too – that dynamic Kar-POW factor she brought to the place. She started Jazz too late, that class was made for her. So yeh, I’ll miss her!

Me and JW joined her in the Cornerhouse for a Goodbye drink, we never talked about each other so it was nice to get to know Kate the person and not the teacher. She’s only been back in Manchester for a year because she needed to escape, now her battery is fully recharged – she’s ready to tackle London again. I admire her sense of free spirit, I really do.

Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure to be taught by Kate, and I can only wish her the best of luck to a re-newed journey down South!

And most of all, thank you Kate for all the lessons. 

I’m forever grateful!

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