Taja Will Artist

CHOREOGRAPHY

Blood Language (work-in-progress) is a new contemporary dance which creates a ritual of identity personified by archetypes. It centers experiences of otherness and belonging; authored by BIPOC, queer and artists with invisible disabilities. Queer, Chilean choreographer Taja Will and collaborative performers bring audiences an immersive performance meditation on power, privilege, stress, love, wisdom, seduction, servanthood, judgement, detective work, trauma and healing. 

Featuring choreographer Taja Will in performance with Marisol Herling, Margaret Ogas, and Julia Gay. Collaborative support includes rehearsal director Marcela Michelle, composer ba musser, songwriters Carlisle Evans Peck and Laura Larson, and selections by Michael Wall (soundFORMovement).

Blood Language has received support from the National Association of Latinos Arts and Culture,  the Cowles Center Generating Room program, the Candy Box Dance Festival, New Movement Collaborative, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, National Center for Choreography Akron, the McKnight Foundation, and individual community support from over 100 private donors. Blood Language is set to premiere at the Cedar Cultural Center in 2021.

Isabel Fajardo Photography

BRUJA // FUGITIVE MAJESTY

 

Bruja // Fugitive Majesty is an evening length solo woven from Will’s personal mythology.

Taja creates the magical world of her genetic and artistic identity. As a queer, transracial adoptee Taja has felt like a cultural fugitive, taking on personality as it fits; shape-shifting as way to escape displacement; this is the preservation of identity.

Featuring Carlisle Evans Peck on piano, original music composition by Michael Wall (soundFORMovement), costume design by Karenina Gonzalez and Felicia Perry and promotional material design by Jared Williams. Gratitude to choreographic mentor Sara Shelton Mann.

Presented by The Right Here Showcase at the Tek Box Theater, 2017. Created with support of the Jerome Foundation Travel Study Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency grant, and developed as artist in residency at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco.

Robbie Sweeny Photography

HOW YOU SEE ME HONOR YOU

A casual, emergent, ritual and dance film for my ancestors; in blood, in chosen family, in artistic lineage, in political and resistance lineage, and queer lineage.

Commissioned by the 2020 PanLatino Festival in collaboration with the Alliance of Latinx Minnesota Artists.

Featuring music from T Bone Burnett

GOSPELS OF OBLIVION; TO THE END

‘I want to hold your hand to the end of the world.’ Set in Oblivion, the era immediately before humans become extinct; an in-depth viewing of decaying culture in future times. Gospels is a dazzling swan song, it believes the world is still glamorous. It is a preservation of culture when we are emotionally stripped down and lost in a world where nostalgia is more exciting than reality. 

Featuring performers Timmy Rehborg, Kathleen Pender and Taja Will. With words and media by Joe Horton, sound design and composition by ba musser, original songs composed by Carlisle Evans Peck, and scenic design by Justin Madsen. 

Presented by ARENA Dances and the Candy Box Dance Festival at the Southern Theater, 2018. Additional support from the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Award 2018, and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Award 2016.

TERPISCHORE TOLD US TO: 23 GESTURES, 11 POSES, 2 SOLOS & 1 DUET

Terpsichore Told Us To: 23 Gestures, 11 Poses, 2 Solos & 1 Duet

Will and longtime collaborator Blake Nellis engage in a blunt illustration of gestural improvisation to tedium by design. This short, humorous work underscores the virtuosity of rhythm, variation and punctuation within performed improvisation.

Lighsety Darst writes for MN Artists “Will and Nellis are top shelf movers and movement inventors.”

Presented at the Walker Art Center Choreographers Evening 2014

AWAKEN ABSURDITY

‘She (Will) explores human connection in a way that feels genuine and (this is a compliment) dangerous rather than tame and staged; when her performers touch each other or take off their clothes, it feels electric instead of dryly symbolic.’ — Jay Gabler for Twin Cities Daily Planet

Will’s earliest evening length work presented in the Twin Cities, Awaken Absurdity was performed by a dream team ensemble of local luminaries, Amy Behm, Abby Swenson, Brian Evans, Blake Nellis, Kimberly Lesik, Tim Rehborg, Timmy Wagner along with Vitali Kononov (CA) and with live musician Justin Nellis.

This work was developed with support from the Red Eye Theater’s New Works 4 Weeks programming in 2010 & 2011 and went on to receive a Sage Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble in 2011.

80'S BABIES

Created for the 40th Anniversary of Choreographer’s Evening at the Walker Art Center. The Third Coast Collective reimagines past Choreographer’s Evening selections by Shawn McConneloug, Judith Howard, Laurie Van Wieren and the late John Munger. Short splicings woven together include new, post modern interpretations of McConneloug’s full bodied movement, Howard’s gift for costume and surrealism, Van Wieren’s expressive gestural language and Munger’s precise, count-based jazz turned cheerleading by this ensemble.

The Third Coast Collective was a short-lived, collaborative experiment instigated by Will, with members comprised from past works.