DanceWorks: How and when did you become involved in dance?
Jesse: I think I have been a dancer my whole life. I’m told that by the age of three, when I would not stop dancing around the house, my parents decided that they had no choice but to put me in a dance class.
DanceWorks: Let’s talk about Sporting Life. What was the initial rehearsal process like?
Jesse: Amazing! I feel incredibly honoured to dance this work and it is truly a once in a life time opportunity. The process, cast, and Julia Sasso have been great. In some ways, Sasso was ahead of her time with Sporting Life. For example, the quick floor work in the piece reflects the floor work style that seems to be popular now. However, at the same time I don’t think we see a lot of dance like this anymore – this physical and aggressive.
DanceWorks: Can you share some of the challenges and triumphs you have experienced while working on Sporting Life?
Jesse: At first, we focused on remounting and learning the choreography from video, which I have always found challenging. Luckily, Julia Aplin, one of the original cast members, joined us throughout the process to help with details and intention. It is amazing what the body remembers even after twenty years.
Being a part of this work is incredibly exciting and also incredibly challenging. I think this piece will be the most physically intense project I will do in my dance career. I’m so excited to tackle it!
Rehearsal photos include dancers Jesse Dell, Daniel McArthur, Irvin Chow, Mateo Galindo Torres, and Matthew Cuff. Photo Credit: Aria Evans