Gymnasts (Body Which Through the Dream Flows) is an ensemble performance featuring 6-8 young competitive female gymnasts of diverse backgrounds. “Gymnasts..” will intertwine theater artist Soomi Kim’s narrative of her own life long involvement in gymnastics as a competitor and coach. Through acrobatics, gestural dance, text (created through prompts and interviews), video and music, this devised theater show will heighten the exceptional qualities of the gymnast while reminding us that they are little girls. It will disseminate the young changing female body, as well as the governing “body” of USA Gymnastics, which has undergone turbulence since the shocking sexual abuse scandal of Dr. Larry Nassar broke out in 2018- one of the largest cases of sexual abuse in U.S. history. Kim’s response to this news was not to point to this directly, but to celebrate the vibrant young athletes she has coached. Inspired by the 100s of women who stepped forward to name their accuser, she hopes to provide a platform to guide her gymnasts to find their voice at the same time shining a light on their remarkable talent.
When Kim learned that the title of the 2nd movement of composer John Adam’s “Violin Concerto, Shaker Loops” was titled "Body Through Which the Dream Flows" she immediately envisioned gymnasts dancing to this dissonant yet beautiful composition. Inspired by the motif of musical movements, Kim imagines Gymnasts…. to include several movements and will be equal parts concert “dance/gymnastics” and devised theater. Kim envisions a visual and visceral experience that will be a uniquely expressed combination by gymnasts themselves and the inimitable coupling of melding her professions as coach, choreographer and theater maker.
In July 2018, Soomi led a free theatre and movement workshop for competitive gymnasts at Chelsea Piers (where she has coached for the past 16 years) to start the process of working with the gymnasts. She will hold another more in depth workshop Summer of 2019. In August 2019, she will attend a 3 week residency at Marble House in Vermont to create a working script from the materials generated in the workshops. She is in conversation with HERE Arts Center as a possible venue for this production. Her goal is to premiere in the spring of 2020. Cast and creative team TBD.
Gymnasts.. is in the beginning stages of development and is seeking funding and performance opportunities. If you'd like to donate to the project, please click to Soomi's Fiscal Sponsorship artist page at New York Live Arts.