Dancer, Irvin Chow, shares the details of his dance rebellion (and epiphany) and first gig with choreographer Julia Sasso.

Sportign Life rehearsal 9 by Aria Evans

DanceWorks: How did you become interested in dance? Was being a dancer a childhood ambition?

Irvin: I became interested in dance later in my life, at 18 years old. I felt like I needed to do something rebellious and settled on taking a drop-in adult ballet class at the Ontario School of Ballet. It was the first time I danced, and I remember being nervous as I walked into the studio and saw the studio kids warming up at the barre. I don’t remember the class at all, but I do remember the feeling of walking (or limping) down the stairs after class and thinking that I experienced something so new, exciting, unknown, and I loved it. To be honest, my childhood dream was to be a forensic investigator, and this was before CSI!

DanceWorks: How did you connect with Julia Sasso?

Irvin: Julia Sasso was one of my professors at York University where I completed my BFA in Dance. Julia approached me at the end of my 4th year to work with her on SLoE, as an apprentice in Vancouver. She was the first person to hire me professionally, right out of school.

DanceWorks: Let’s talk about Sporting Life. Can you share what you find most challenging about the work?

Irvin: This piece is both incredibly physical and filled with complex tiny details, needed to bring the characters and themes to life. In watching the original cast video, I witnessed amazing performers seamlessly blending both skills. For me, the most challenging part is doing this amazing work justice and trying to live up to these very large dress shoes.

Sprotign Life rehearsal 8 by Aria Evans

Julia Sasso’s Sporting Life opens on March 3 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Tickets are available at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre Box Office.

Rehearsal photos include dancers Irvin Chow, Jesse Dell, and Mateo Galindo Torres. Photo Credit: Aria Evans