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Ivan Delaforce of ‘STOMP’ tells how the show has changed his life

STOMP performers use a new routine called donuts.
STOMP performers use a new routine called donuts.
Photo by Steve McNicholas

"STOMP" will stop in Toledo on Jan. 18 and 19. It is hard to believe that the show “STOMP” has been playing for over two decades, but the innovative show continuously draws crowds. In an exclusive interview with Examiner.com, Ivan Delaforce, a veteran of the show, recently took some time to talk about how popular the show has become, how the show has changed and how the show has changed his life.

Delaforce, a native of Hawaii, grew up playing drums. After graduating from Damien High School, he went to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but something was missing for him. He had a dream to make his living as a musician. “I wanted to just go for it.” Instead, he found himself enrolling at the University of North Texas where he only spent a year. “While there, I realized I’m in school again, and I don’t want to be in school.”

He knew what he wanted, but it would mean he needed to take a chance. He knew a good friend from Hawaii who had moved out to New York to play drums, so Delaforce made another move to the east. After living in New York for about only eight months, the friend came home one day and told Delaforce about an announcement calling for auditions to a show called “STOMP”. “I called them up and I auditioned for the first American tour of the show back in 1995. I got put on a waiting list at first, but some people didn’t work out in rehearsal. They (the producers) pulled me off the list (to perform in the show), so it was pretty amazing.”

Although he has done other things, Ivan has been with “STOMP” off and on for about two decades. The 44 year old performer knows why the show remains so popular. “It is definitely a rhythmic journey. It is a visual, percussion show using nonconventional objects as instruments. It contains comedy, characters and music.”

Delaforce has seen changes in “STOMP” since his start. “We have improved the show from year to year.” New routines are added and old ones are replaced. Delaforce explains, “The show changes from one night to the next” due to some minor improvisation of the performers. The tour travels the road with 12 performers, but only eight are on stage any given performance. Performers rotate shows to give each person some rest. Some routines that have been added in the past few years are paint can juggling and doughnut playing in which the drummers wear large tractor tire inner tubes. “I like the new trolley routine,” Ivan adds. The trolleys are supermarket carts that the performers ride around the stage in choreographed movements.

Personally, “STOMP” has changed Delaforce’s life in a number of ways. He has become the rehearsal director. “My duties are to make a schedule, organize people, and keep an eye on how the show looks. During rehearsals, I help with transitions from routine to routine.” More importantly, he is living his dream. Most importantly, according to Ivan, “STOMP” gave him a chance to meet his wife, Coralissa. “She was part of the STOMP tour, and we had the same group of friends. We became friends over time and married.” Coralissa no longer tours with the show. She is now a physical therapist, and she stays with the couple’s four year old son.

To see Ivan Delaforce perform in “STOMP”, tickets are still available for the three shows in Toledo. The group will be at the Stranahan Theater on Jan. 18 for an evening show, and they will perform twice on Jan. 19. For tickets, see the Stranahan Theater website.

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