contact name: Taja A. Will
Choreographer, performer Taja Will creates work using the moving body to explore realities of social consciousness. She delves into images, emotions and ideas in the creative process, and her performances parallel everyday extremes. For Taja, the body is a vehicle by which to explore the experience of an individual within community. Her technique straddles the line between movement and voice; resulting with performances which uniquely marry the sonic and kinetic. Will's work uses techniques of structured improvisation, choreography and contact improvisation to manifest an aesthetic of agency and spontaneity. Ultimately, audiences will experience the mundane and extraordinary and recognize themselves as active spectators, muses and even performers.
Metro Magazine calls Will, 'One to watch, one to embrace' as she was the 2010 Keeper award recipient for outstanding artist in the Twin Cities. Will has also been nominated for the Sage Awards for Dance in the category of Outstanding Ensemble. As an independent artist Taja has performed and shown work throughout the United States, in Iowa with the Black Earth Collaborative Arts Company, and Cedar Rapids Opera, and in Seattle during SFDI (2007, 2008, 2010)produced by Dance Art Group, at the Earthdance Retreat Center in MA. Locally her work has been seen at the Red Eye Theater as part of the Works-In-Progress series, at the Ritz Theater for Renovate Choreographer's Evening, at the Walker Art Center's Choreographer's Evening (2009, 2012), at Fall Out Art Space, in the Dance Film Project at Intermedia Arts, at Patrick's Cabaret for Kinetic Kitchen and open call cabarets, and in 9x22 Dance Lab and Rabbit Show at the Bryant Lake Bowl, and various site specific venues for TAJIMdances, RAW and Mixed Precipitation.She has studied and performed internationally in England at the Royal School of Music, in Japan with Yoshito Ohno, and in 2008 and 2009 Taja has taught, presented research and performed in Cholula, Mexico at Foro Performatica. She has recently performed works with Jim Lieberthal, Lynn Andrews, Miguel Gutierrez, the RAW (Ready At Will) Dance Collective, Body Cartography, Mandy Herrick and Cathy Wright among others. Will is the founding member and primary choreographer for new powerhouse company, the Third Coast Collective.
In addition to performing and choreography Will is an active teacher in the Minneapolis community, offering workshops in contact improvisation, improvisational performance skills, choreography, and yoga. Will has been on faculty at Zenon Dance School as yoga instructor, facilitating a vinyasa practice grounded in anatomy, alignment, body systems. Teaching has taken Will to Mexico, the Earthdance Workshop, Residency and Retreat Center and to Berkeley, CA, where she participated in WeCITE (West Coast Contact Improvisation Teacher's Exchange) and taught at WCCIF (West Coast Contact Improvisation Festival) offering classes in CI performance skills, contemplative practice, and was a panelist for the 'Future of CI' panel discussion for CIRF (Contact Improvisation Research Forum). Will's somatic work has lead her into the healing arts and psychotherapy, she now practices as an energy medicine practitioner (LBC) and somatic bodyworker at Moe Bodyworks in Minneapolis.
Metro Magazine calls Will, 'One to watch, one to embrace' as she received this year's Keeper Award for outstanding artist in the Twin Cities Metro Area.
2011 Sage Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble for Awaken Absurdity performed at the Red Eye Theater June 2011.
Dance Critic Lightsey Darst calls Will, 'a galvanizing performer, one who makes every move felt.' Commenting on Will's solo(not) My Bloodat the 2009 Walker Art Center's Choreographer's Evening.
Caroline Palmer writes for the Star Tribune on (not) My Bloodcalling it, 'emotionally raw' and 'Baushian'.
Reviewing 2010 Renovate Choreographer's Evening at the Ritz, Lightsey Darst comments on Will's work,Terpsichore Told Us To: 23 Gestures, 11 Poses, 2 Solos and 1 Duetsaying Will and performance partner Blake Nellis are, 'top shelf movers and movement inventors.'
On seeing Awaken Absurdity at the Red Eye Theater's Works-in-Progress performance,Twin Cities Daily Planet reviewer Jay Gabler calls Will's work, 'electric...dangerous'
"Looking at Will is like opening the door to a fire, she glows..." MN Artist Dance critic Lightsey Darst commenting on Will's solo show, 'we are not platonic, unfortunately'
Country of Citizenship:
February 3, 1986
Twin Cities Metro