bkSOUL was founded in 2001 by Dr. grace shinhae jun as a space to explore the relationship between Hip Hop culture and modern dance, debuting with the evening length work Women Warriors in Love & Hip Hop. The company began as a bi-coastal company (San Diego – Brooklyn), teaching and performing at various venues in Southern California, Brooklyn, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Indiana, San Francisco, and Mexico. In 2006, bkSOUL deepened its roots in San Diego and began collaborating with Collective Purpose (Ant Black, Kendrick Dial and Rudy Francisco), blending together movement, poetry, and live music to center on issues of social justice and communities of color through a Hip Hop framework. This award-winning performance company has created seven evening length works: The Movement (2007), Hip Hop Saved My Life (2009), Love H.E.R. (2013), Illegible (2015), Still Moving (2016), The Lioness (2017), Get Free (2019) and received “Best Musical Performance” (2016), “Outstanding Performance” (2017), and “Outstanding Multidisciplinary Production” (2019) for their work at the San Diego International Fringe Festival. bkSOUL was in residence at Lawrence University and performed their critically-acclaimed work Illegible. In 2016, celebrating the 10 years of working together the dancers, the poets, and musicians fully merged to perform solely as the conscious performance group bkSOUL. As educators, mothers, fathers, activists, and artists, bkSOUL is committed to education through the arts, to courageous insight and truth, and to helping strengthen our justice movement today. 

Who We Are

“Persecuted” Rudy Francisco, grace shinhae jun, Lavina Rich, Lauren Dockweiler