Adapted from the groundbreaking literary collage by late Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, DICTEE intertwines the stories of ordinary, mythic, and martyred women—including Korean revolutionary Yu Guan Soon, Joan of Arc, Demeter and Persephone, as well as Cha herself. Korean born, NYC-based performer Soomi Kim uses movement, video, and original music to transpose Cha’s postmodern poetry to the stage.

Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky was last performed at Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival March 2012.

Conceived, choreographed and performed by Soomi Kim, created in collaboration with director Suzi Takahashi, music by Jen Shyu. With Kiyoko Kashiwagi and Diana Oh, lighting design by Lucrecia Briceno, assistant director Leta Tremblay, video by Eric Jiaju Lee, sound design by Jay Spriggs, additional music composed ad recorded by Adam Rogers. Text from Cha's Dictee.

Nytheatre.com review for Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky 

* all photos at the Women Center Stage (WCS) by Hunter Canning.

*Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky is based on the book Dictee, by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, copyright The Regents of the University of California, courtesy of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

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  • Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky

    Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival at the Living Theater. March 2012

  • Hades approaches

    Kiyoko Kashiwagi as Hades! Women Center Stage, NYC

  • Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky

    Women Center Stage Festival NYC

  • Women Center Stage Festival NYC

  • Taming the Martyr

    With Diana Oh and Kiyoko Kashiwagi (WCS)

  • Channeling Joan of Arc (Jean d'arc!)

    With Diana Oh

  • ..and Yu Guan Soon! (the Korean revolutionary)

    Diana Oh

  • Soomi as Yu Guan Soon

    Yu Guan Soon was a student revolutionary who led the largest protest against the Japanese occupation in Korea in 1919. She was beaten to death in prison.

  • Blessing the Martyr

    Diana Oh and Soomi Kim

  • Homage to the Martyrs

    This scene is a meditation on the women of Dictee as well as Cha herself.

  • Diana's soulful riffing

    Diana Oh sings Cha's text here over the sounds Soomi has laid down on the line 6 digital delay loop pedal.

  • Hanging around

    Movement sequence on an ariel device designed by Javier Dzul.

  • More homage to the Martyrs

    With Kiyoko Kashiwagi

  • Kiyoko Kashiwagi is featured in this scene that is a duet between mother and daughter.

  • With Kiyoko Kashiwagi

  • Honoring Cha

    In this scene, we recognize Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (author of "Dictee" who was murdered) as joining in the ranks of "Martyrs".

  • Persephone takes a bite of the pomegranate. With Kiyoko Kashiwagi and Diana Oh. WCS

  • Yu Guan Soon scene

    With Elena Chang at the 3rd National Asian American Theater Festival, Los Angeles, Ca. June 2011