Southeast Asian Choreolab 2019

From 6 to 14 July 2019, a group of 10 emerging contemporary dance choreographers from 7 Southeast Asian countries attended the Southeast Asian Choreolab 2019 at Rimbun Dahan, facilitated by Australia choreographer Liesel Zink.

The participants were:

  • Ayu Permata Sari, Indonesia
  • Hasyimah Harith, Singapore
  • Irfan Setiawan, Indonesia
  • Michael Barry Que, Philippines
  • Mimee Somvanhpheng Keolouanglath, Laos
  • Pat Toh, Singapore
  • Pham Thi Hong Sam, Vietnam
  • Pich Sopheavy, Cambodia
  • Raul “Buboy” L. Raquitico Jr., Philippines
  • Silver Yee, Malaysia

For nine days, the participants lived, worked and expored contemporary dance practice and creation together at Rimbun Dahan. consist of 7 work days with 2 days of study-tour. Work days took place in the dance studio at Rimbun Dahan. Each of the participants presented a 1-hour morning session sharing their own choreographic approaches or movement backgrounds. In the afternoon, Liesel Zink led the participants through sessions exploring choreographic methods and analysis.

The first day of the Choreolab concluded with a welcome dinner at Rimbun Dahan, including prominent members of the local contemporary dance community. The participants also visited Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre to watch a Dancebox performance, and took a short excursion to Forest Research Institute Malaysia and Batu Caves. Their full-day excursion included a long walk around the Dataran Merdeka/Chinatown area of Kuala Lumpur, while Liesel led the group through exercises involving visibility/invisibility in a public space.

On the final day of the Choreolab, the participants presented several short site-specific works they had made to a small public audience.

Project Aims

To support and enable emerging Southeast Asian contemporary dance choreographers to

  1. Adopt new choreographic tools and physical, thematic and conceptual approaches to enrich their artistic practice;
  2. Develop regional networks among their peers and with regional dance institutions, for knowledge sharing, future artistic collaboration and touring;
  3. Experience works of art, cultures, places and histories beyond their home, to increase international understanding and to help contextualize their artistic practice.
  4. Work closely with an established choreographer (Liesel Zink), to participate in her particular artistic approach, and to benefit from her insights, advice and experience.

We are glad that the participants had a positive and reenergizing experience with each other at Rimbun Dahan. Here is the word cloud from their feedback forms:

 About Liesel Zink, facilitator

Liesel Zink is an Australian choreographer interested in the body as a tool for socio-political and environmental expression. With a focus on site-specific work, Liesel seeks to engage new and diverse audiences in meaningful contemporary dance experiences. Liesel was awarded the 2017 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for her work ‘The Stance’, which has been performed at Sziget Festival Hungary 2017, Ansan Street Arts Festival South Korea 2017 and several cities around Australia. Prior to that her site-specific work ‘fifteen’ (Next Wave Festival VIC 2012 & Brisbane Festival QLD 2012) won two ‘best of’ awards both for Melbourne’s Small to Medium dance work and Brisbane Time Out’s dance award.

She is currently developing ‘Balloons & Granite’ (a large scale dance installation exploring the body in shifting landscapes) and recently premiered ‘INTER’ (a science, dance and spoken word collaboration).

Liesel has been commissioned to choreograph works for Australian dance companies including Expressions Dance Company, Tasdance and LINK Dance Company. Her choreographic style has evolved from her postgraduate research on body language and her ongoing interest in social psychology.

She was a lead artist in the creation of Force Majeure’s new site-specific work FLOCK (Commonwealth Games 2018) and has performed for Polytoxic Dance Company and independent artists including Liz Lea, PVI Collective and Dave Sleswick. As well as producing her own work she produces for dance artist Michael Smith, and co-produces The IndepenDANCE Project (Phluxus2 Dance Collective) and Angry Mime evening of experimental art.

More information:


This is a joint project of Rimbun Dahan, MyDance Alliance, and World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific.
Producer: Bilqis Hijjas.
Intern: Natashya Nazlia (student, Dance Department, University of Malaya).

SEA Choreolab 2019 Call for Applications [PDF 1MB]

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