17stompEvery year the Givens Performing Arts Center brings a wide variety of world-renowned performances to North Carolina. Each season embraces artistic expression of every style. On March 21, the theater will host the unconventional percussion group STOMP. Then March 27, GPAC hosts the Russian National Ballet Theatre as they present Swan Lake. These are two widely respected and incredibly popular groups displaying talents that take years to cultivate. The styles, however, are drastically different. 

STOMP started as a street performance created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas in the United Kingdom and has grown into an international sensation. Since their humble beginnings over 20 years ago, they have performed in more than 50 countries for over 24 million people. There are now four different productions across the globe. There is a permanent company in London, a production at the Orpheum Theatre in New York, a North American tour and a European tour. 

The focus of STOMP is on percussion. However, the style of percussion is unique. The performers employ things like paint cans, hubcaps, plumbing fixtures and even kitchen sinks to create their energizing and complex beats. In addition to the aural intrigue of the performance, STOMP performers also use their unconventional household or industrial instruments to make visually exciting performances. They may employ synchronized Zippo lighters, brooms or tea cups to create an incredible show for the entire family.

STOMP performances have received rave reviews. Despite the overall success they have already achieved, they are still learning and growing. For example, in this tour they will include two entirely new pieces. This constant innovation makes every performance as new and exciting as when the show first premiered. STOMP will be at the GPAC March 21 at 7:30 p.m. 

The Russian National Ballet Company was founded in 1989 by Sergi Radchenko, who was a ballet star in the “Bolshoi Ballet.” The company very quickly made a name for itself at home and abroad because of the high quality of every aspect of the performance. The dancers are some of the best in the world. Additionally, the stunning scenery and costumes are designed with attention to detail. The company divides into smaller touring groups when they travel and often performs classic ballet masterpieces in communities that would not otherwise have such an opportunity to enjoy Russian classical ballet. 

Swan Lake is one of the classical ballet masterpieces that the company performs. Swan Lake first debuted in 1877 and was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is considered the “national ballet of Russia” by many. The story revolves around princess Odette who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The story has been adapted numerous times, but the Russian National Ballet Company will perform a more traditional version that the entire family can enjoy. It is a presentation of Russian culture and talent brought to North Carolina March 27 at 7:30 p.m. 

Both performances bring critically acclaimed international culture and talent to North Carolina. The GPAC is providing a unique opportunity for the entire family to experience two very different artistic interpretations of music all within the month of March. Tickets for both shows can be purchased at http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=44991&schedule=list. 

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