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IU Auditorium to welcome STOMP as part of Bicentennial celebration



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Actor Sean Perham travels with STOMP and will be visiting Bloomington on Nov. 15. Perham has been performing with the Brighton-based show for nearly three years. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

STOMP, a high-energy, urban percussion performance, uses everyday objects such as brooms and garbage cans to create music.

The performance began in 1991 in the United Kingdom, and at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14, the show will return to IU for a performance in the IU Auditorium. 

Sean Perham has been performing with the Brighton-based show for almost three years. Born in New York, the drummer, comedian and actor said STOMP was a performance unlike any he had previously worked with.

“I would describe it as a truly, definitively unique experience,” Perham said. “There is not a single thing out there in the world of performance that is like this show. It’s a combination of percussion, movement, comedy and acting wrapped into a one hour and 45-minute blitz to the end.” 

STOMP will visit Bloomington as a part of its North American tour, but the show frequently tours internationally and continues performances in New York. While on tour, Perham said the group rehearses five to nine hours per week depending on availability. He said this can be physically taxing on the performers. 

“My background is in movement,and it’s not related to sports,” Perham said. “So the physical aspect of the show is incomparable to anything I’ve ever done. It’s hard-hitting, nonstop action for us on stage.”

The IU Auditorium is partnering with Bloomington’s WonderLab on the night of STOMP’s show to provide crafts for children and their families. This “Kids’ Night on Broadway” will begin at 6:30 p.m. when the auditorium’s doors open.

Perham said the activities are accessible across language or age barriers.

" We’ve all hit pots and pans or tapped something out on our desk," Perham said. "The creators have tapped into this thing that’s been around for so long and they’ve really honed it into this piece of interactive art."

Perham spent time working as an elementary school teacher before he joined the STOMP cast. He said he would strive to show his students how inclusive music can be by showing the1997 HBO musical documentary "Stomp Out Loud." 

“When I was a teacher, I always incorporated STOMP,” Perham said. “I showed the video and asked ‘How can we find instruments in our everyday life?’” 

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at iuauditorium.com. Prices start at $17 for students and $29 for adults.

Perham shared that the audience often changes the dynamic of the show and looks forward to a large crowd.

“Depending on the audience, the show is very different,” Perham said. “They are a part of the show. They live with us in the show.”

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