People Flock to the 4th Rombak Battle in Phnom Penh

Hip hop dancers perform surrounded by the audience during the Rombak Battle in Phnom Penh on March 23. Photo: Rin Ousa

PHNOM PENH – Music on, more than 500 people of all ages crowded around the stage on March 23 to watch hip hop dancers compete in the Rombak Battle in Phnom Penh. 

And they kept cheering throughout the whole event, boosting the dancers’ spirits as they performed on the circular stage. 

The event kicked off at 4:30 p.m. after the dancers had registered the name of their crews and the category in which they wished to compete. 

A total of 20 duo crew featuring dancers from several countries took part in the battle. Among them, 12 duo crews performed in the Breaking (hip hop on the floor) category, and eight duo crews in the All Style (stand-up hip hop dance) category. Unexpectedly, no one registered in the Rombak Style category in which one dancer performs freestyle solo. 

The event included foreign dancers from France, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam. As in previous Rombak battles, Cambodian hip hop dancers from Phare Ponleu Selpak and Tiny Toones took part in the battle. 

The judges and DJs invited for this year’s event were well known people in the hip hop world such as Bboy Cielo from Australia, Bboy Angelo from France, Toppy and Tayida from Thailand, and Bboy Slick from Cambodia. 

 Hip hop dancers perform on March 23 while people in the audience watch their every move. Photo: Rin Ousa 

After three hours of intense battle, Black 4 and Tinkey from Vietnam were declared the winners in the Breaking category, and C-Nash and Smoke from the United States winners in the In the All Style category. 

After the Rombak Battle, dancers and people who attended the event were invited to a party. From 10 pm to 2 am, DJs including Shortkut from the United States and Sonny Amerie from Thailand kept dancers and people of the audience happy. 

The Rombak Battle first took place in 2013, organized by Lim Vibol who was also a dancer. At the time, the battle was held on a smaller scale with Cambodian dancers and foreign dancers who lived in Cambodia taking part in the event.  

However, in 2017, the battle turned into an international competition. So far, this hip hop battle has been successfully held in 2017, 2019, 2023 and this year 2024.

Hundreds of people of all ages attended the 4th Rombak Battle in Phnom Penh. Photo: Rin Ousa     

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