STOMP, the high intensity percussion show that’s a perennial favorite in Eugene, brings its weird musical instruments — think hubcaps, Zippo lighters, brooms and garbage cans — to the Hult Center for two performances next week, Feb. 18-19.
Conceived in Brighton, U.K., by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, and making its Broadway debut in the early ’90s, STOMP is nearing its 30th birthday. Even if you haven’t seen the show before, you’ve probably seen it referenced in popular culture. From Sesame Street and the Muppets, to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, STOMP is both beloved and berated by the masses.
With a little dance, a little slapstick and a lot of banging on trash cans, STOMP is not your everyday concert experience. With no discernible narrative, 12 performers — eight on stage — use music and movement to communicate with each other and the audience.
Eugene Weekly caught up with 25-year-old Alexis Juliano, a STOMP veteran and former contestant on So You Think You Can Dance to talk about her experience on tour. A Florida native and a competitive dancer since the age of 2, Juliano made quite the leap to percussion.
“Being predominantly a tap dancer, I always counted,” she says. “I love rhythm, but learning to play with my hands rather than my feet was a bit of a challenge.”
She learned to drum only after she nabbed her spot on the tour. You can now see her as Cornish or as the affectionately named Bin Bitch, the rough and tumble gal with a heart of gold.
Asked about the success of STOMP, Juliano says, “I think it’s that music is a universal language… there’s no speaking parts, we’re just up there making music for an hour and 45 minutes.”
Part of the allure is that no two shows are ever the same, including the recent addition of two new songs this tour.
“I love how fresh it is every evening,” Juliano says. “We have people that swing in and out every show, so we have to improvise a lot. Any time there’s a solo on stage, it’s improvised.”
See STOMP 7:30 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 18 and 19, at the Hult Center. Tickets are $43 and up at HultCenter.org.