Taja Will Artist


Blood Language, A dance as Digital Archive

A digital archive/performance work funeral/dead dance

The parts of the process that don’t reach the stage are often rich and revealing, the labor that is less visible is still vital, and this archive is a memorial to those materials. The development of Blood Language was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and over a year later morphed into this digital archive as a way to spotlight the materials derived throughout the process; the visual artifacts, and a collection of writings embedded in a virtual journey that captures the aesthetic of ritual. 

Featuring the work and contributions of Jaffa Aharonov (site designer), Genevieve Johnson (company administrator/project manager), Brandon Musser (company sound designer), Taja Will (artistic director/choreographer), Marcela Michelle (project rehearsal director), Marisol Herling (artistic collaborator), Marggie Ogas (artistic collaborator) and Julia Gay (artistic collabortator).



It’s 2020. (nervous exhausted laughter) My address is part confusion and part confession, sometimes I am not myself, sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing here, or who’s rules to follow. 

Inspired by the Artists In Presidents project, directed by Constance Hockaday. The team gave me the green light to compose an address of my own!

Hello, hola Neighbors, can I call you that … neighbors? Wow, it is a pleasure to join you in your home, from my Zoom room to yours, here we are. Now, what I share today might surprise you. Let’s begin. 

I wasn’t born here, I’m not broke, or broken, but oh my dear one do I ache. I ache capital D – Do-I-capital A Ache. I ache, I do, I ache, at bone, at joint, at back, at neck, in my gut, between my legs, in my chest, behind my eyes, and my whole fucking tongue aches… and not from fucking … I’m not here to talk about that, today… Dirty Bird. 

Let’s talk about holidays! Wow! Celebrate them, right? You’re supposed to, it’ll be fun. Buy things, wrap them up, dress up, cook food, gather together, eat food, it’s fun, right? (They chuckle) Well, I’m sorry I’ll have to decline your invitation. I won’t, I won’t celebrate your favorite memories of genocide, land theft, or brainwashing nationalism then or now. 

Moving on, let’s talk about Work and work ethic. I will go to work nearly every day, complacent I will deny but it will make me, so, I confess. I married C A P I T A L I S M (laughter) just like every other fucker I know. You did it too, didn’t you? (More laughter) I want a divorce. But I’m sorry that will not be possible because I am addicted, I am obsessed and I know that you are too. Prove me wrong, do it. (BIG laughter) 

Oh sweet, sweet baby, dear ones, were you told the world was your oyster? Did you believe it? (They laugh at you) or what else do they say… something about the horizon or the frontier, man-made-make-something-of-yourself-work-hard-play-hard-die-young- we are all dying now (cackles) from the virus. (Audible inhale) capitalism, as I said before, white supremacy, surprise don’t say it again (nervous laugh) individualism! You can take care of yourself, I can take care of myself, I don’t need anybody, I don’t-I don’t, I lost my train of thought, I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry. Forgive me, forgive me. Thank you, thank you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Presidential Portrait by Nanne Sørvold


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



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


‘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.


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


‘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.


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.