Soomi Kim is a Korean born, New York City based actor/movement artist (dancer, stage combat/martial arts, choreographer, former gymnast). She has worked as a company member with several artists as well producing, creating and performing her own work, almost always in the collaborative setting. Kim and director Suzi Takahashi have created and devised a trilogy of work based on under recognized figures Asian American visionaries whose lives were cut short: Lee/gendary, Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky and Chang(e). Chang(e) (based on the life of Kathy Change) was developed through the HERE Artist in Residency Program (2012-2015) and ran for 3 weeks in November on HERE’s mainstage. Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky (dance theatre adaptation of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee) was featured at Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival at the Living Theatre in 2012. Lee/gendary (written by Derek Nguyen, directed by Suzi Takahashi based on the life of Bruce Lee) ran at HERE Arts Center’s main stage where Kim served as producer & performer in this show. This performance run garnered 6 New York Innovative Theater (2009) award nominations and 3 wins, including Outstanding Production of a Play. Kim was also nominated for Outstanding actress in a lead role (as Bruce Lee) as well as Outstanding Choreography (alongside Airon Armstrong). All three shows were selected to be presented at the 1st, 3rd and 4th National Asian American Theatre Festivals (NYC, L.A. and Philly). Kim has performed and toured extensively with companies and artists such as Ex.p girl, composer/choreographer Grisha Coleman in her work echo::system-the desert and the late Fred Ho (BAM’s Next Wave 2001 and 2003 U.S. tour for Voice of the Dragon). As an actor her work ranges from down town and regional theater to independent film and web series appearances.
Kim has performed in over 20 live industrials with The Art of War (a martial arts performance troupe under Empire Entertainment) and she has choreographed much of the movement for her artist led projects. Other choreography credits include: floor routine choreographer for competitive gymnasts at Chelsea Piers, Warriors: Make Art Not War (a martial arts short film directed by Maja Fernquist), In Her Words: the story of Anna May Wong (directed by Yunah Hong), Audition (showcase for 2g's Breaking Bamboo). Kim likes to straddle lines: genres, disciplines, gender and boundaries. Her movement style has evolved into a powerful and unique hybrid of dance, martial arts and gymnastics.
Soomi has been featured in the New York Times, Huff Post, Timeout NY, Culturebot, SinoVision, Oregon Arts Watch, KBOO radio, Radio Zamunda, Blastingnews, Gay City News, KoreAm Journal, Phildelphia Inquirer, WHYY Radio, Philadelphia Dance Journal, Asiance magazine, Kung Fu magazine, The Korea Times, L.A. Times, nytheatre.com and PBS's show Asian America (episode title: downtown writers and performers).
Residencies and Awards: 2016-2017 commissioned artist at Dixon Place, 2017 Heathcote Fund Award grant, 2012-2015 HERE Arts Center resident artist, 2013-15 NPN Creation and Forth Fund recipient for Chang(e), Asian Arts Initiative's Artist Exchange Residency in Philadelphia (2011 & 2012), 2013 Hemispheric Institute's Artist in Residence (Performance and Politics), Urban Artist Initiative grant recipient (2008) and 2014 Mabou Mines Artist in Residence.
Guest Artist: Guest speaker at Lehman College, Marymount Manhattan College, Devising workshop hosted by APANO in Portland, Or., Invited participant in the National Directing and Ensemble Creation Institute, co-founded by Art2Action and Pangea World Theatre (July, 2017). Presentation, lecture and workshop at Harvard Unviersity April 2017. Featured artist at the 2016 New York City Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC), Oregon State University 2014, lecturer and workshop on devising movement. Other workshops: Emerge NYC, Baruch guest artist and Asian Arts Initiative.
Most recent work: Her autobiographical solo show MLCG (My Little China Girl) premiered and ran for 6 performances at Dixon Place November 2017. Chang(e) was presented in December 2017 by Boomarts in Portland Or. Essay published in the Fall Edition of the Drama Review written by Professor Vivian L. Huang titled: "What Shall We Do?" Kathy Change, Soomi Kim, and Asian Feminist Performance on Campus