When Kumbhakar Swallowed a Dead Dog

2020
When Kumbhakar Swallowed a Dead Dog takes inspiration from two Cambodian theatrical traditions, Sbek Thom (shadow puppet theater) and Lakhon Khaol (male masked-dance). Both traditions draw on themes from the Reamker, the Cambodian version of the Indian epic Ramayana. Here, I have revisited both the form and aesthetics of shadow puppetry by collaborating with my husband, the illustrator Pascal Lemaitre, on new visuals.
Arising from a Jerome Robbins Research Fellowship, this performative lecture was given at the New York Public Library of Performing Arts on January 24, 2020 to celebrate the 75th anniversary.
Direction and dramaturgy: Vincent Dunoyer
Choreography: Emmanuele Phuon with Noun Sovitou
Performed by Emmanuele Phuon and Noun Sovitou

"I found the projected material a bit long-winded, but I want to tell you how iridescent you are in the piece. No matter what you do—addressing the audience, performing small gestures, donning masks, dealing with objects—you captivate us spectators and hold our attention with your luminous presence."

Yvonne Rainer
Color photographs: courtesy Asian Cultural Council. All black & white photos: ©John Vink @Maps Images