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Stomp the Yard in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Stomp the Yard

Columbus Short • Meagan Good • Ne-Yo • Chris Brown
DIRECTOR: Sylvain White

Dance happy THE CONCEPT:
DJ (Short), a troubled youth from Los Angeles, moves to Atlanta to attend Truth University, and discovers ‘stepping,’ the age-old style of dance traditionally done in African-American Fraternities, where teams demonstrate complex moves and create rhythmic sounds by using their bodies. DJ joins a fraternity determined to win the annual championship, but before he can help his teammates he must battle his own demons and learn the true meaning of brotherhood.

U.S. RELEASE: January 12 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“Stepping originated from African Boot dancing that got brought over to the US in 1906. That’s when they adopted the dance form. I took what I knew from touring in Stomp, took what I knew as a musician, and applied it to stepping. My main concern was making sure the artistic credibility of the character was there, that was the most important thing to me. The dancing was kind of in my DNA.”

NE-YO (Rich Brown):
“The whole movie was a challenge for me, just because I’d never done anything like this before. I thank God for Columbus and Meagan, especially as far as the acting is concerned, because when I got there I swear you could hear my heart beating from over there I was so nervous. I was expecting ego and attitude, like, ‘Oh here comes that R &B dude trying to do the acting thing.’ But it was the complete opposite, everybody was overly helpful.”

“With the dancing in the beginning of the movie, the (competition) was real. It wasn’t like, ‘Okay, the script says we’re supposed to win, so we win.’ The losing team actually wanted to beat us; it was like, ‘We’re going to show y’all won because the script says y’all won.’ There will be a lot of bonus footage of us dancing on the DVD, and you can see the interactions.”

“Meagan is one of my closest friends, we grew up together. I’ve known her since I was eight years old. I was the first one signed to this project, and I called her and said, ‘They want you to do this movie,’ and she was like, ‘I don’t know,’ but I convinced her. I think she was a perfect fit, because I knew that our chemistry would be natural, it wouldn’t be forced.”

“I did You Got Served, and I didn’t want to do another dance movie. Columbus said, ‘Read the script, because this is not a dance movie. There’s dancing in it, but that’s the backdrop to everything that’s going on with these characters and their lives. So I read it and I saw what he meant.”

“Physically this was the most difficult stuff I’ve ever done. Meagan and I kept saying, ‘It’s like tapping your head, rubbing your stomach, doing the alphabet backwards and tap dancing, all while upside down. That’s what stepping is.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Screen Gems
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #679, February 2007 cover

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