Brodal Serei Dance Unveils the Life of a Boxer

Boxing, storytelling and dance

Amrita Performing Arts and Tomorrow Dances asbl present


A new work-in-progress of Cambodian contemporary dance by Emmanuèle Phuon
December 18-19, 2015
Venue: Department of Performing Arts

A new work-in-progress
Brodal Serei explores the personal history of the Khmer boxer beyond the thrills and spills of the boxing ring in present day Cambodia. It scrutinizes a way of living not often seen by the audience and television cameras during the exciting and glamorous competitive fights. This dance reveals intimate social, cultural and socio-economic aspects of the sport inspired by fight choreographies and physical gestures of the Khmer boxing vocabulary. Through a series of engaging scenes that weave dance, drama and storytelling, Brodal Serei casts the spotlight on the human face - and body - of success and struggle of a Cambodian cultural form where economy and sport are intertwined intricately.

Brodal Serei is made possible with funds from private donors and with an additional grant from the Asian Cultural Council.

Produced by Amrita Performing Arts and Tomorrow dances asbl with In-kind contribution of lighting and sound equipment from Khmer Arts/Sophiline Arts Ensemble.

Concept and Choreography Emmanuèle Phuon
Dancers Khon Chan Sithyka, Nget Rady, and Noun Sovitou
Dramaturge Lim How Ngean
Sound Designer Zai Tang Mcintosh
Boxing Coach Hem Sarann
Musicians Khon Chansina and Moeun Chanty Music Traditional music and Rethy Dona
Visual Artist Tep Chanty


Emmanuèle Phuon (Choreographer) is French-Cambodian and lives in Brussels, Belgium. She started her training with the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Phnom Penh at age 5 and is a graduate of Conservatoire National de Danse d' Avignon (France). She has performed with the ElisaMonte Dance Company, a New York based company from 1989 till 1994. In 1995, she joined Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project for seven years, dancing in works by Taylor, Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, David Gordon, Mark Morris, Lucinda Childs , John Jasperse, Meg Stuart among many others. She also appeared in the operas Orféo and Marco Polo choreographed by Martha Clarke, and in Joachim Schloemer's opera La guerra d'Amore and The day I go to the body, a piece created specifically for the Salzburg festival in 2002. She is currently performing with Yvonne Rainer's informal company, the Raindears, touring Europe and the US regularly. Ms Phuon received grants from the Asian Cultural Council in 2009 and in 2015 and is the choreographer of the Khmeropédies project, a project which started in 2007 and aims to inspire young Cambodian choreographers to question and re-think their cultural heritage in dance, to keep the tradition alive and evolving. Khmeropedies, a dance in three parts was presented at the New Haven's Festival of Arts and Ideas in 2010, the Spoleto festival in 2011, at the Guggenheim Arts and Process in 2013 and toured Singapore, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and New Delhi. She is currently working on a new piece with Amrita Performing Arts, Brodal Serei.

Dr Lim How Ngean (Dramaturge) is an independent dramaturge, producer and performance-maker. He conferred his PhD from the National University of Singapore in 2014. With over 20 years in performance experience, he has performed in productions by Singapore's Ong Keng Sen and the late Malaysian Krishen Jit. His initiation into contemporary dance began in 2006 as a research fellow in Tokyo under the Asian Public Intellectual programme by Nippon Foundation. In 2009, he was invited by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) as dramaturge/documentarian for the dance exchange Pointe to Point. How Ngean has acted as dramaturge for choreographers Daniel Kok, Joavien Ng, Kuik Swee Boon and Ming Poon from Singapore, and Pichet Klunchun in Thailand. He also dramaturgs regularly for Phnom Penh-based Amrita Performing Arts Group with Belgium-based choreographer Emmanuèle Phuon. In 2015, he initiated the Asian Dramaturge Network (ADN) with Singapore-based Centre 42, where the inaugural meeting/symposium will be held in April 2016.

Zai Tang Mcintosh (Sound Designer) is an artist, composer and sound designer, with roots in eletronic music, turntablism, multimedia installation, and composition for moving image. Zao obtained a BA in Creative Music Technology form Bath Spa University and received a Post-Graduate Professional Development Award by AHRC to study MADigital Arts at Camerwell College of Arts. During this period he also completed the New Creative Ventures Course at London Business School. Since 2006 Zai has been presenting solo an collaborative work locally and internationally: Archfest Singapore (2014) with HCFA, Esplanade's da:ns Festival (2013) With Ming Poon and Sacred Music Festival (2010), SOUND:Latitudes Attitudes (2014) at ICAS, Words Passing Through Us (2011) with Zai Kuning at SAM, STRARTA Art Fair (2013) at the Saatchi Gallery, London Underground Film Festival (2012), Seeing Sound Symposium 1 3 (2009 / 2013) at Bath Spa University, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2012) with Lucy Davis, Singapore Unheimlich (2015) at the IFA Gallery Berlin / Stuttgart, and the 52nd / 56th Venice Biennale (2007 / 2015) in collaboration with Tang Da Wu and Charles Lim respectively.

Phon Sopheap (Rehearsal Director and Musician) studied Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian male masked dance) and completed his training in 2000 and has since toured internationally as a classical dancer. With a strong interest in contemporary dance, Sopheap joined numerous regional dance workshops including the Young Choreographer's workshop in Surabaya in July 2006 as an Asian Cultural Council recipient where he created his first contemporary solo work entitled A Monkey's Mask. Since, Sopheap has toured internationally in works by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin and Arco Renz among others. He is part of Amrita's artistic leadership team.

Khon Chan Sithyka (Mo) (Dancer) began his training in Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian classical male masked dance) in 2002, focusing on the role of the monkey, and completed his training in 2011. Throughout his studies he has performed in Stravinky's Persephone directed by Peter Sellars at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2012 and at the Festival d'Art Lyrique d'Aix en Provence in 2015, Bach Cello Suite by Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) and Nam Narim in Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia, Horizontal Life by Chun Yeun Soo in Phnom Penh, and Khmeropedles III: Source/Primate at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Season of Cambodia Festival in April 2013 and at the da:ns Festival in Singapore in October 2013. Mo has twice choreographed for the Contemporary Dance Platform. With Brothers in May 2014, which went on to tour in Malaysia at the Tari Festival in November 2014, and with Journey in May 2015.

Khon Chansina (Nan) (Dancer) began his training in Lakhaon Kaol(Cambodian classical male masked dance) in 2002, focusing on the role of the monkey, and completed his training in 2011. Throughout his studies he has performed extensively with the Sovanna Phum Khmer Association. He has participated in dance workshops with Arco Renz, Eko Supriyanto and Cynthia Ling Lee. Nan has performed in Bach Cello Suite by Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) and Nam Narim in Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia, Horizontal Life by Chung Yeun Soo in Phnom Penh and Khmeropedies III: Source/Primate at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Season of Cambodia Festival in April 2013 and at the da:ns Festival in Singapore in October 2013. Nan co-choreographed his first piece Brothers at the May 2014 Dance Platform which toured in Malaysia at the Tari festival in November 2014.

Nget Rady (Choreographer), Nget Rady began his dance training in 1999, specializing in the monkey role of Lakhaon Kaol, the Cambodian classical male masked dance form. As a classical dancer, Rady has toured to Europe and throughout Asia and as a contemporary dancer has performed in numerous works of contemporary dance as well as participated in many contemporary dance workshops. Rady has already created a number of his own works including The Feeling Street Children. He has been a featured dancer in CRACK a new work of Cambodian contemporary dance by German choreographer Arco Renz that was awarded the 2012 ZKB Patronage Prize in Zurich Switzerland in September 2012. He has also worked with established choreographers, Emmanuèle Phuon in Khmeropedies III: Source/Primate at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Season of Cambodia in New York in 2013 and in Temporal Patternby Hiroaki Umeda at the da:ns Festival in Singapore. Rady holds a BA in Choreographic Arts from the Royal University of Fine Arts.

Noun Sovitou (Choreographer) started training in Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian male masked dance) in 2000 at the Secondary School of Fine Arts, graduating in 2010. He is currently pursuing his BA at the Faculty of Choreographic Arts of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, where he will graduate in 2015. During the course of his studies, Sovitou has performed extensively in both classical and contemporary works. He was also trained in Khmer traditional martial arts. He has been a featured dancer in Para Human by Eko Supriyanto at the National Museum of Singapore Olden New Golden Blue by Peter Chin at the Season of Cambodia Festival New York in April 2013, and Khmeropedies III: Source/Primate by Emmanuèle Phuon at the da:ns Festival in Singapore‌ in October 2013. Sovitou most recent choreographic work Religion, was performed at Amrita Performing Arts Contemporary Dance Platform in May 2014.

Moeun Chanthy (Musician) studied at the Secondary School of Fine Arts. He was trained to perform Tro Sau (fiddle) from music masters, Soy Sareth and Yun Khean from 2004 to 2009. He shifted his training to Sralai (oboe-like instrument) with Sour Sokheng and graduated from the school of music in 2011. He pursued his study under Kem Rithy at the Faculty of Music, Royal University of Fine Arts and obtained his BA in 2015.

Emmanuèle Phuon founded Tomorrow dances asbl in 2014, a Brussels based NGO. It's mission is to promote cultural exchange of ideas between Asia and Europe and the US, between East and West, in different art fields and more specifically dance. So far, this organization supported Emmanuèle's work with Amrita Performing Arts, Yvonne Rainer (USA) and the Brussels-based Academy of Fine Arts.

As an international NGO with U.S. non-profit status, Amrita Performing Arts (Amrita) is one of the leading performing arts organizations in Cambodia. Amrita produces works of contemporary dance and theater that tour nationally and internationally. Started in 2003, Amrita comprises a dance company of 18 classically trained Cambodian artists, as well as a strong production team. Our unique approach to skills development focuses on long-term capacity building of Cambodian artists and arts professionals as they become pioneers in the arts sector in Cambodia. Our approach is two-fold; Amrita's dance company of 18 Cambodian artists focuses on long-term artistic development and the exploration of Cambodian contemporary dance, whilst the production art of our organization strengthens the performing arts sector in Cambodia through building and developing production and arts management practitioners.

The last twelve years of creative and considered investment in these areas has enabled us to create a sustainable, long-term foundation for our young Cambodian artists adn arts professionals to develop in this sector.

Executive Director Kang Rithisal
Artistic Director Chey Chankethya
Senior Artists Phon Sopheap, Nam Narim and Sodhachivy Chum (Belle)
Associate Director Hannah Stevens General Manager Rachel Sené
Communications Manager Alicia Hamet
Project Manager In Rachny
Production Coordinator Hourt Bunny
Finance/Admin Coordinator Mech Koem Eang
Project Officers Ros Sothmmea, Lim Chanboramy
Project Assistant Chen Borey
Production Dang Chakriya


Special thanks to our private donors for their donation and thanks to an additional individual grant from the Asian Cultural Council which has made Brodal Serei possible.

Many thanks to John and Sophiline Cheam Shapiro (Khmer Arts & Sophiline Arts Ensemble) for their in-kind contribution of the lighting and sound equipment.

Thanks also go to Java Café and Gallery and the Department of Performing Arts. We would like to also thank the following individuals who has supported in one way or another in this production: Anders Jiras, Chihyu Lin, Dana Langlois, and John Vink.