Maya Workman, Choreographer, Writer, Musician & Theatre Artist
Maya was born in Slovenia (former Yugoslavia), where she studied ballet, piano and visual arts. Her interest in Martha Graham and Modern dance inspired her to move to London where she earned a BFA from London School of Contemporary Dance. Later, she moved to NYC to find a junction across impulse produced by live jazz music and movement. There, she studied with Merce Cunningham and started a dance company in collaboration with legendary jazz artist Reggie Workman and his ensemble. Together they created original projects:
Come and Go, HP Madame, Jus Al’ Mae, Mother Courage, Closed Door, Tristan and Isolda, First Day 47, Abstractions, Streams, and more. Their notable productions were at Carnegie Recital Hall, Cathedral St. John’s The Divine, Washington Square Church, Cooper Union Great Hall and European State Theaters (Maribor, Ljubljana, Serbia, UK, Italy).
Their most recent project together has been the completion of a children’s book titled Ms G Clef’s Party.
Maya earned a BA in Liberal arts (focus in psychology) and MA in Media (focus in film) at the New School University in NYC. Additionally she holds the New School Movement certification, and has studied with Howard Gardner at Project Zero, Harvard University (Teaching For Understanding, Views on Understanding, Connections Across Arts Disciplines). The birth of Maya’s and Reggie’s daughter inspired their co-founding of Montclair Academy of Dance and Lab of Music and Drama (Montclair, NJ). Maya continues to teach, directs and produces between Slovenia, New York City, and New Jersey. Her teaching introduces “Eight Steps to Creativity,” and “Moving Theater”; creative and critical thinking through movement, poetry, Djembe drumming, physical theater, and leadership. Maya has been residing back in Manhattan since 2007. She is currently writing her first novel (“Robots with Nerves”) and is in pre-production of “Dos Worlds” (original physical theater play) at St Paul’s Church in Manhattan. Maya’s teaching and performance goal is to “paint” a better world where those who are underprivileged, physically and emotionally challenged, and “left behind” are pushed forward and socially integrated. Through her work, she communicates the need for a lasting change through gradual physical transformation and the renewal in the way we think about ourselves, listen to ourselves, and connect.
TATIP Work & Most memorable moments:
“Whether I’m interning with CWP at PS 132 Juan Pablo Duarte in Washington Heights with mentor teaching artists T. Scott Lilly and Elizabeth Leonard, or in TATIP lessons, debriefs and electives with Patti, Katie, Karla, Scott, Heidi and representatives of cohort groups, at The Bronx’s DreamYard Project, or at Langston Hughes’s typewriter in Harlem: My most memorable TATIP moments happen every time we meet. When educational leaders triumph as friends and friends are suddenly teachers, experiential learning overcomes the fear, and becomes a crucial component of children learning for social justice.”
“Focus experienced with TATIP underlines the way of listening and the capacity for empathy for anyone involved. A child’s lived experience with TATIP in juxtaposition with the infrastructure of the system filled with violence and miss-education of self, creates a new narrative, in which a young being gains power. On a day where we may tremble in fear because of the events that happened outside of TATIP, we are welcomed to transform to beauty within the program. You walk in, and human beings embrace you, helping you to merge with fluidity from one moment to the next. From the teacher to the assistant to student and then back; curiosity of the mind is evoked and listening and focus are provoked. This flow opens up endless opportunities for new horizons. Creativity, derived from arts, assumes another way of understanding. Ability and inability concur impossibility. One who is able is there to help the one who is unable; they become equal. Reason achieves freedom of thought. Empathy for one another creates strength. Leadership is initiated. And when this is achieved a dialogue with a student in a classroom becomes the inseparable poetry of art!”
“To me they result in the growth of an entrepreneurial and artistic mind of every student.”
Find out more about Maya here:
Check out Maya’s Lesson Plan she presented with her partner Kim Bendheim.