2019 CHOREOGRAPHER FELLOW
After spending the first six years in Japan and Southeast Asia, Deborah Jinza Thayer grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University and received an MFA in Dance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Now based in Minneapolis, she has created over 60 original works and presents her work as Movement Architecture – a blend of dance and theater in structured environments.
Some of the awards include being a two-time semi-finalist for France’s Rencontres choregraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bagnolet) in 1999 and 2001, and receiving a 2010 SAGE Award for Choreographic Concept and Design. Fellowships include a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers, 2006 Associate Artist Residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a 2010 Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Fellowship. She has received additional support from the Minnesota State Arts Board (1999, 2002, 2009, 2014, 2018), Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (2017), American Composers Forum (2006, 2011, 2014), and Jerome Foundation (2006).
She has taught somatics, modern technique and composition at Zenon Dance Company and School in Minneapolis for twenty years.