Mario Torres, a Veteran Dancer of Stomp, Dead at 30

News   Mario Torres, a Veteran Dancer of Stomp, Dead at 30 Mario Joaquin Torres, a past cast member with the New York and touring productions of Stomp, died in an accidental drowning in Amsterdam June 20, the producers said.

Mario Joaquin Torres, a past cast member with the New York and touring productions of Stomp, died in an accidental drowning in Amsterdam June 20, the producers said.

Mr. Torres, who was 30, grew up in Santa Monica, CA, and began dancing at age six. When he was 16, he moved to New York City and focused on modern dance, working with The Parsons Dance Company and touring Europe in West Side Story 1993-95.

He joined the Off-Broadway production of the percussive, populist dance show, Stomp, in 1995. He performed it in New York and on tour for the next six years. While on tour, he began fulfilling his love of jazz by improvising tap with musicians in the United States and abroad. In the summer of 1998, he performed at The Montreal Jazz Festival with his own trio, Rhythm Exchange. He recently performed in New Orleans during Jazzfest with the funk band Galactic and with The Slackers, a Brooklyn-based Ska band.

"His mission was to explore tap as an instrument as well as an expression of movement within jazz, Latin, funk, hip-hop and other musical styles," according to a statement.

Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, creators of Stomp said Mr. Torres had been a performer with Stomp companies in America and Europe since 1995. "He was a supremely talented and versatile Stomp performer and a gifted dancer," they said in a statement. "Mario had the rare ability to move with style and grace in one moment and to deliver a comic punch line the next. We are proud to have worked with him and proud to have considered him a friend. Mario's presence will be sorely missed by everyone involved in Stomp, not least by ourselves. Stomp is a very close knit family and Mario is very much a part of it. Our thoughts are with Mario's friends and family, and especially with his mother: we share your grief."

He is survived by his mother, writer Joan Torres, his father, New York musician Ricardo Torres and grandmother, Marcella.

Friends may visit the afternoon and evening of June 30 at the Andrett Funeral Home, 353 Second Avenue at 20th Street in Manhattan. Funeral is at Andrett 11 AM July 1.

— By Kenneth Jones