talk with Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés
and Francesca De Rosa
Can choreographic writing affect the dominance of neo-colonial representations that invest in black bodies? Can performative practices be a tool for deconstructing the “lactification” (Franz Fanon) that imposes Western culture and morality on Afro-Diasporic subjectivities? Is it possible to radically transform common sense by drawing on the repertoires of pop and the imaginary of the underground?
With an intersectional approach, the researcher Francesca De Rosa dialogues with the choreographer Cherish Menzo about her artistic practice that is interested in stigmatizing, though always with a precise aesthetic horizon, power relations, gender stereotypes and forms of objectification of the black body (female and not only that), tracing the links between subcultural repertoires, philosophical thought and forms of life. Choreography, visual dimensions, rap and sexual agency as well as astronomical studies become compositional tactics to decentralize the human and re-imagine the body in a posthuman convergence.
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).
Francesca De Rosa has a PhD in Cultures of Ibero-American Countries, Luso-african studies awarded by the University of Naples “L’Orientale” (Unior). Her research has included postcolonial Cultures and literatures, and visual studies in Portuguese context. Her studies record in colonial archives and authority representation in colonial Portuguese documentaries and cinema. She is presently working in Portuguese Language, culture and literatures at the Orientale University in Naples.
with the support of Ambasciata del Regno dei Paesi Bassi e Dutch Performing Arts Fund
ph. Yaqine Hamzaoui and Yema Gieskes
Cherish Menzo is at Short Theatre 2022 also on September 10/11th with the