Stomping Grounds Festival Review

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Stomping Grounds Festival Review

Dancers at the festival

Dancers at the festival

Melanie Fitch

Dancers at the festival

Melanie Fitch

Melanie Fitch

Dancers at the festival

Melanie Fitch, Staff Reporter

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On Saturday night, October 7th, the GSU Center for Performing Arts welcomed a unique and exciting production to its stage for an evening of power, passion and entertainment. The sensational Stomping Grounds Festival is a collaboration between four very intense, very diverse dance companies. At first glance, each group seemed different. They represented the traditional dance of Ireland, African influenced choreography, Flamenco and classical Spanish dance, and Tap dance, which while influenced by African traditions, has grown and evolved into a distinctly American cultural style of dance.

Melanie Fitch
Dancers at the festival

Melanie Fitch
Dancers at the festival

Melanie Fitch
Dancers at the festival

Muntu Dance Theater, Ensemble Espanol (Spanish Dance Theater), Trinity Irish Dance and Chicago Human Rhythm Project perform different styles of dance but they all have a passion and skill that kept Saturdays audience engaged. Chicago Human Rhythm Project performed several tap numbers. Their black background and clothing was as simple as their footwork was complicated and stylish. Trinity Irish Dance did, what appeared to be Irish Step Dancing, popularized by the world-famous Riverdance production, and they seemed to have feet of lightening!  Muntu Dance Theater combined the robust rhythms of drumming with call and response style singing, and powerful African dance moves that made them seem ready to fly off the stage at any moment. However, the Spanish Dance Theater is a production in and of itself. The passion and sensuality of the dancers, combined with the creative lighting and elaborate costumes was almost enough to make one feel transported to another place and time.

I couldn’t help but notice that while Stomping Grounds is a great show it’s also a perfect illustration of how people can be different and powerful, while still working together and maintaining their original identities. Food for thought I suppose.

As one of the first shows of the semester, if Stomping Grounds is a sample of what we have to look forward to, then I recommend setting aside a few weekends, because going to some of the up and coming performances will be a very worthwhile way to spend the evening.

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