In her new creation, Cherish Menzo and her onstage partner Camilo Mejía Cortés look for ways to detach their bodies from the way they are perceived and the daily reality in which they move. Among other things, they look up to the sky, at dark matter and at black holes that meet and collide to give birth to a new, (afro)futuristic and enigmatic body.
DARKMATTER wants to get rid of the biased way of looking at one’s own body, at that of the other, and at the stories we attribute to them. Together, they throw their bodies into a complex conversation that they want to both enter into and transcend – a duality that feeds the performance. Just as in her previous project, JEZEBEL, Menzo stretches her movement language further by integrating techniques from hip-hop music. She applies the Chopped and Screwed method to her movement language, a process in which the music’s tempo is sharply reduced. By stretching the notions of time, the register changes and the performing body manages to generate new readings. A ten-piece choir – the Distorted Rap Choir – creates a recorded soundtrack of alienating rap anthems to accompany the two performers on stage. DARKMATTER wants to bring about a thorough reshuffle of the atoms, looking for a new form for – and way of looking at – the (black) body and the complex outside world to which it relates.
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Beursschouwburg
Concept, choreography: Cherish Menzo | Creation, performance: Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés | Ligh- ting design: Niels Runderkamp | Music composition: Gagi Petrovic, Michael Nunes | Mastering: Gagi Petrovic | Sceno- graphy: Morgana Machado Marques | Vocal and delivery coach: BOИSU, Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong | Costume design: Jus- tTatty.com | Dramaturgy: Renée Copraij, Benjamin Kahn |
Text: Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés, BOИSU, Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong | Artistic advice: Christian Yav, Nicole Geer- truida | Voices Distorted Rap Choir: Jessica Harkay, Hazel Hoi Ching Lam, Louiza li De Vos, Okoba Rhoda Shiroya, Badi Rezzak, Parvin Saljoughi, Katoucha Ngombe, Jessica Boyeleba Balehen | Technicians: Niels Runderkamp and Am- ber Stallenberg or Nele Verreyken | Music and text credits: www.grip.house and www.frascatitheater.nl
Production: GRIP, Frascati Producties | Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, CCN-Ballet national of Marseille in the framework of the studio reception / Ministry of Culture, actoral festival, STUK, La Villette, Beursschouwburg, Festi- val d’Automne à Paris, De Coproducers, Perpodium
Residencies: Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam, STUK, La Villette, Frascati, Beursschouwburg, CCN-Ballet natio- nal of Marseille in the frame-work of the studio reception / Ministry of Culture | In collaboration with: Trill, WijzijnDOX | With the financial support of: the Flemish Government, The Performing Arts Fund NL, Ammodo, the Taxshelter of the Belgian Federal Government, Cronos Invest
Thanks to: Eric Cyuzuzo, Jan Fedinger, Dries Douibi
image © Yaqine Hamzaoui & Yema Gieskes