Brodal Serei (Free Style Boxing)

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. Beyond the thrills and spills of the boxing ring in present-day Cambodia, it reveals the intimate social, cultural, and socio-economic aspects of the sport. Based on interviews with professional boxer Hem Saran, Brodal Serei is a collaboration with sound artist Zai Tang.
Commissioned by Esplanade Da:ns festival (Singapore) with additional funds from the Asian Cultural Council and individual donors, the work premiered in October 2016.
Choreography and direction: Emmanuele Phuon
Dramaturgy: Lim How Ngean
Sound Design: Zai Tang
Boxing coach: Hem Saran, Dancers: Khon Chan Sithyka, Nget Rady, Noun Sovitou

“Animating the story of professional Khmer boxer Hem Saran, the hour-long work reveals the hands within the gloves, the person behind the boxer and the art behind the sport. Through a deliberate manipulation of speed, Phuon amplifies the strength and precision of Khmer boxing. What is seen are fists arcing through space, chests hollowing from impact and heads ducking in avoidance. These intricacies of movement show the performers as both opponents and partners, working against and alongside each other.”

Photos: ©Anders Jiras, ©Reth Chanbopha