Body can you become hypothetical, a galaxy, in full gear acceleration, a liquid star monster, failing to die? —Cherish Menzo
DARKMATTER is a laboratory of experiments in which Cherish Menzo, together with Camilo Mejía Cortés, reflects once again on the cultural implications of the black body and experiments with the multiple possibilities that its own fluid substance allow, to free ourselves of the distorted way of looking at bodies and the stereotyped signs that we attribute to them.
The black body is dark matter, unfathomable, almost invisible yet powerful. What happens when we watch it while disconnecting it from the stories and labels attributed to it? Stretching voices and movements, as in a Chopped and Screwed remix, perceptions are altered and the body reveals itself as malleable material.
Looking to the sky,
DARKMATTER brings together and makes stars and black holes collide to give life to an enigmatic body. Just like a playground where base materials merge to place the various compounds in continuous transformation, here the study of astronomical phenomena merges with posthumanism and afrofuturism in a concatenation that breaks the reassuring forms of imposed realism, to open up a vision of a temporal sidereal experience, towards a new reality, light years away from centuries of cultural domination.
- Cherish Menzo is at Short Theatre 2022 also on September 9th, in the frame of Anticipation of the Night, in a talk in dialogue with Francesca De Rosa, scholar of Cultures of Ibero-American Countries, Luso-african studies and professor at Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”.
- On September 11th, at 11 am, Cherish Menzo keeps Distorted Rap Choir/Chopped and Screwed. Everyone can participate and it is in the frame of RECIPROCITY, section of Short Theatre that experiments with new models of mutuality and intersectionality that spans relationships, origins and expertises through dimensional playfulness, physical exchange, narrative crossroads
The performance includes nude scenes and the use of stroboscopic lights.
Cherish Menzo is a performing artist and choreographer, based in Amsterdam and Brussels. She is interested in the transformation of the body on stage and the “embodiment” of different physical images. Images seem recognisable at first glance but, by highlighting their complexity and contradiction, she questions the apparent norm and creates universes in which the black body stands central. She floats between the nostalgia of 90s and 00s hip-hop, industrial hip-hop, rap lyrics, sci-fi, manga and speculative futures. After graduating from The Urban Contemporary program (JMD) of the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2013 she started performing in other choreographers’ productions and creating her own work: EFES (2016, with Nicole Geertruida), LIVE (2018, with Müşfik Can Müftüoğlu), JEZEBEL (2019).
concept and choreography Cherish Menzo
creation and performance Camilo Mejía Cortés, Cherish Menzo
lighting design Niels Runderkamp
musical composition Gagi Petrovic, Michael Nunes
mastering Gagi Petrovic
music list via www.grip.house or www.frascatitheater.nl
scenography Morgana Machado Marques
costume design JustTatty.com
dramaturgy Renée Copraij, Benjamin Kahn
text Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés, BOИSU, Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong
vocal and delivery coaching BOИSU, Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong
artistic advice Christian Yav, Nicole Geertruida
voices distorted rap choir via www.distortedrapchoir.com
technicians Niels Runderkamp, Amber Stallenberg/Nele Verreyken
production GRIP, Frascati Producties
coproduction Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels, BE), CCN-Ballet national de Marseille dans le cadre de l’accueil studio / Ministère de la Culture (FR), actoral festival (Marseille, FR), STUK (Leuven, BE), La Villette (Paris, FR), Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), De Coproducers (NL), Perpodium (BE)
residencies STUK (Leuven, BE), La Villette (Paris, FR), Frascati (Amsterdam, NL), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), CCN-Ballet national de Marseille dans le cadre de l’accueil studio / Ministère de la Culture (FR), Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam (NL)
in collaboration with Trill (Leuven, BE), WijzijnDOX (Utrecht, NL)
with the financial support of the Flemish Government, The Performing Arts Fund NL, Ammodo, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, Cronos Invest
thanks to Eric Cyuzuzo, Jan Fedinger, Dries Douibi
with the support of Ambasciata del Regno dei Paesi Bassi e Dutch Performing Arts Fund
ph. Bas de Brouwer