Artist Spotlight: Dancer/Choreographer Tanya Karn
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Growing up in Canada, Tanya Karn always had a passion for music and dance, so when the opportunity came to study at one of the top dance academies in Canada, her family moved their entire lives to help her realize her dreams. Today, Karn has grown her career from the stage to music videos, films and now to Amazon Prime’s new anthology horror series “Them: Covenant.”
“I was immediately attracted to the job because of how much I enjoy working behind the camera and bringing a vision to life on film,” Karn said. “The opportunity to contribute my talents to an Amazon Prime show presenting a strong and truthful message is something I thoroughly enjoy.”
As a movement coordinator on the series, Karn was responsible for casting the dancers used in scenes, including those in one scene which included six dancers, eight stunt professionals and over 140 extras. She was also in charge of establishing positions for each individual, and coordinating the movement and transitions over multiple takes.
Executive produced by Lena Waithe and Little Marvin “Them: Covenant,” centers around a couple, who decide to move their family to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood where the family's home on a tree lined, seemingly idyllic street becomes ground zero where malevolent forces threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them. The show will premiere later this year.
“The main challenge on set that I’ve learned to overcome through my experience is being adaptable to the shooting conditions,” she said. “Reduced shooting hours, change of location, alterations to set decor, actor ability, restrictive wardrobe, script changes, storyline alterations, even floor surface; these are just a few of the factors I’ve encountered that affected the choreography I had originally prepared. But instead of it being a challenge, I now find adapting my choreography on the spot to be one of the most exciting parts of the job.”
Known for her work on such series as CW’s “Hellcats,” and “The L.A. Complex,” as well as The Family Channel’s “The Next Step,” SyFy’s “Warehouse 13 and many others, Karn has found her niche as a top choreographer and dancer on television and films. One of her most notable performances was as lead dancer on the Nickelodeon series “Make It Pop” produced by Nick Cannon, during which she filmed 40 episodes, that airs in countries around the world.
“I started dancing when I was 2 years old. My parents put me into almost every sport and art form, and dance was the one thing that I fell completely in love with,” she said. “To this day, one of my favorite feelings in the world is being on stage during a live performance and being fueled by the energy of the audience watching you. There are no words to describe it.”
As an elite dancer with a background in hip hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet, lyrical, tap, ballet, and pointe styles of dancing, Karn became a woman in demand, working with such artists as Demi Lovato, The Jonas Brothers, Victoria Duffield and many others. But she would go on to Hollywood where she found a new home for her talents, appearing in music videos, live performances, then films and television. Currently, she works with the dance company Freelusion, a dance group that combines 3D graphics and projection technology with interactive modern dance choreography.
She pursues her own career while also nurturing her passion to teach young dancers. She co-owns and directs the Canadian dance event Battle of the Next Generation, and also owns Education of the Next Generation, that organizes dance workshops throughout the school board. Recently, she has extended her talents to the dance competition “Headliners”, where she will work with young aspiring dancers across the country, and is gearing up for their 2020 US Tour beginning in March.