© Yaqine Hamzaoui


Cherish Menzo / Frascati Producties / GRIP
Tue 24 May ’22 - Tue 28 Mar ’23
D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER creates a utopian free space in which the body is liberated from existing references in a futuristic universe, using a powerful language of dance.
Tue 24 May ’22
Tue 28 Mar ’23

In D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER, Cherish Menzo and Camilo Mejía Cortés go in search of ways to soak their bodies free from an imposed perception. Embedded prejudices are plucked apart in a futuristic environment: the D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER universe. To do so, they look partly to space: to dark matter and black holes that meet and clash, and from which a new, (Afro)futuristic, strange body can be born.

As in her previous project JEZEBEL, Menzo stretches her language of movement further using the Chopped and Screwed method – a remix technique from hip hop music in which the tempo of the music is dialled right back. 

For D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER, Menzo takes inspiration from post-humanism, which transcends the physical, but above all also from Afrofuturism. A movement focused on a future in which Black people live in a hyper-technologized, decolonised world. Or even: depicting a future in which colonisation never happened. Mixing future with tradition, technology with centuries-old African mythology, and fantasy with reality.  

An in-depth workshop will be offered the day before to accompany the show. At each performance location, ten local people of colour will be invited to participate in this workshop and work on themes arising in D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER. In Amsterdam and Brussels, the locations of the two premières, at the end of a two-day workshop with the Distorted Rap Choir trained there, a rap anthem has been recorded and integrated into the production. 

The various choirs can be seen and heard at www.distortedrapchoir.com

  • LNP
  • Duration: 80 mins
  • NL première: Weds 25 May 2022
  • We Are Public: Thurs 26 May 2022
  • N.B.: this production makes use of stroboscope / lighting effects

 The press on D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER

"D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER is a punky performance, a trip full of mystery and symbolism. Dark in its consistency, light at the end of the tunnel." Theaterkrant

"Wat is ze goed, Cherish Menzo. Zelfs als ze in Darkmatter nauwelijks te zien is in het schaarse licht, verborgen achter een spiegelend masker en weggedoken in een zwarte hoodie, zuigt de blik zich toch vast aan deze performer in hart en nieren." NRC

"Whether they are tottering on their stiletto latex boots or slithering naked through black paint, the pair surprise with powerful images after every black-out. Thanks to the daring lighting design, the terrifying soundtrack and the oppressive rap songs spat out live by Menzo and Cortés, Darkmatter is not only a fascinating descent into that heart of darkness that lurks within each of us, but also a poetic critique of representation that celebrates the richness of being black."  De Standaard 

"The rather abstract stacking of (pop) cultural approaches from the black community seems to mainly be an attempt to show how the experienced materiality of black bodies, in the light of a temporal recalcitrance that runs parallel to the scratching of a record, can break open the blackness of a dark past." Etcetera 

“In ‘D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER’, dancer and choreographer Cherish Menzo crashes, with Camilo Mejia Cortès, into the invisible boundaries that restrict the (black) body. The hip hop culture of the ’90s and the fantasy images of Afrofuturism are her tools.” Pzazz

About Cherish Menzo

Cherish Menzo is a performer and performance-maker based in Amsterdam. In her artistic work, she is interested in the transformation of the body on stage and in the "embodiment" of various physical images. At first sight these seem unrecognisable, but by stressing their complexity and contrariness, Menzo questions the seeming norm. In her work, she creates a universe centred around the black body. She meanders between the nostalgia of the 90s and 2000s (hip hop, rap texts, sci-fi, manga) and speculative futures. 

concept and choreography Cherish Menzo creation and performance Cherish Menzo and Camilo Mejía Cortés lighting design Niels Runderkamp musical composition Gagi Petrovic and Michael Nunes mastering Gagi Petrovic scenography Morgana Machado Marques vocal and delivery coaching BOИSU and Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong costume design JustTatty.com dramaturgy Renée Copraij and Benjamin Kahn text Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés, BOИSU, Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong artistic advice Christian Yav and Nicole Geertruida technicians Niels Runderkamp and Amber Stallenberg/ Nele Verreyken voices DISTORTED RAP CHOIR www.distortedrapchoir.com production Frascati Producties, GRIP coproduction De Coproducers (NL), 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), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), Perpodium (Antwerp, BE)  in cooperation with Trill (Leuven, BE), WijzijnDOX (Utrecht, NL) residences STUK (Leuven, BE), La Villette, Paris (FR), Frascati (Amsterdam, NL), Beursschouwburg (Brussel, BE), CCN-Ballet national de Marseille dans le cadre de l’accueil studio / Ministère de la Culture (FR) with financial support from the Government of Flanders, Fonds Podiumkunsten, the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and Cronos Invest




Darkmatter tour:

fri 8 t/m sun 10 Jul 2022
Julidans, Amsterdam

wed 18, thu 19 Jan 2023
Corrosia, Almere

sat 28 Jan 2023
LUX, Nijmegen

thu 2, fri 3 Feb 2023
Het Nationale Theater, Den Haag

sat 11, sun 12 Feb 2023
Theater Kikker, Utrecht

fri 17, sat 18 Feb 2023
Ins Blau, Leiden

fri 24, sat 25 Feb 2023
Schuur, Haarlem

fri 3, sat 4 Mar 2023
Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg, Rotterdam

vr 10, za 11 Mar 2023
Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch

thu 16, fri 17 Mar 2023
Zwolse Thaeters, Zwolle

tue 21, wed 22 Mar 2023
De Nieuwe Vorst, Tilburg

fri 24, sat 25 Mar 2023
De Lieve Vrouw, Amersfoort

tue 28 Mar 2023
Natlab, Eindhoven

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