Taja Will Artist

PRESS: INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES & REVIEWS

Race in Contact Improvisation: A Conversation with Taja Will, Richard Kim, Leslie Heydon, and Rebecca Bryant: Instigated and moderated by Hope Mohr Dance for The Bridge Project, Fall 2020

Taja on jamming in homogeneous CI spaces – “What a privilege it must be to feel so much belonging inside of your body that also you can offer it to being touched without any other guidelines, or perhaps any space to say what you need in touch or what you might like, and I think, walking into a jam culture is exactly that.

How intimidating it must be, to think about our [BIPOC] bodies [being] touched, as folks of color and the [historical] trauma of [living in] the United States…it doesn’t make me feel like I can walk into a space where there are people who don’t look like me and [imagine] that I can immediately feel in belonging with them. It doesn’t make me feel like I have the privilege of space and agency.”

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Trista McGovern
  • “I am interested in indigenous solidarity and decolonizing the hierarchy of relationships with power, privilege, wealth and access. Co-learning, co-teaching, co-living, and so much more are possible in radical ways. Ways which potentially lead to the dismantling of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, the gender binary, and internalized colonialism. I believe radical dream mapping expands what we know to be true, it engages artistic imagination and from there we can, perhaps, emerge a new world.”  Sacrosanct is a queer community blog and digital space for queer, trans, and non-binary BIPOC to heal, self define, and self actualize through art and wellness.

  • “May this review or commentary be as queer as the work. May it disrupt our normative ideas of “the review” with humanity and the historical realities of viewing and commenting on brown (racialized) bodies.”Will’s reflections on mentor Miguel Gutierrez’s work This Bridge Called My Ass with a lens of contemporary Latinx artist solidarity.
This Bridge Called My Ass by Choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, photo courtesy of Chocolate Factory
  • “Uniting sequins and survivalism for an absorbing exploration into the waning days of humanity…the situation may seem dire, but Will envisions a future where a touch of glamour becomes a coping mechanism for doom.” — Dance Critic Caroline Palmer comments on Gospels of Oblivion: To the End, May 2018 
  • Inclusion or Invisibility for POC in CI  for Contact Quarterly by Taja Will, May 2018  “Issues of diversity and inclusion aren’t new conversations, but our current sociopolitical climate is requiring that these dialogues continuously update. A “safe space” for a white practitioner is not the same as a safe space for a (BI)POC practitioner.”
  • Generational Trauma by Taja Will, for Women’s Press May 2017
    “In learning strength, I took on all of its distortions – aggression, defiance, ruthless independence, the rejection of weakness and distrust of surrender. As I became more aware of these patterns, I softened my strength into awareness, learning about boundaries, interdependence and resilience.”
  • Choreographers That Move Us Lavender Magazine, March 2016 
  • In()Flux: Contact Improvisation & Steve Paxton by Taja Will for the Walker Art Center September 2014 “…pause, I gesture with fingers and knee simultaneously to the body on the other side of the stage, he responds, I respond, then we are together…moving as a two headed, multi-limbed being, surfing pelvis over pelvis, upside down, I’m head over heels and weak in the knees… I’m exhausted, not knowing what might come next, I shout “Go”…and we continue.”
  • ‘Will’s new work Gospels of Oblivion: To the End is as much a theater work that teeters on the edge of the abstract as it is a dance piece.’ Rob Hubbard for the Pioneer Press
    Gospels of Oblivion Photo by Dan Norman Photography
  • ‘ Bruja // Fugitive Majesty is transcendent, precise and probing.’ — Jay Gabler for The Tangential 
  • ‘Will is a galvanizing performer, one who makes every move felt’ — Lightsey Darst on (not) My Blood in 2009 Choreographer’s Evening
  • ‘Will is a phenomenally talented performer, the kind for whom her mastery, and even your perception of her mastery, is not the main event. What she’s after is connection. Looking at Will is like opening the door to a fire: she glows, she feeds off the attention.’  —Lightsey Darst on Will’s early solo work we are not platonic, unfortunately at the Bryant Lake Bowl in 2010