Cherish Menzo

Cherish Menzo (°1988, The Netherlands) is a choreographer and dancer, who lives in Brussels and Amsterdam. In 2013 she graduated from The Urban Contemporary (JMD) at the ‘Hogeschool voor de Kunsten’ in Amsterdam.  

Cherish has appeared in the work of Lisbeth Gruwez (THE SEA WITHIN), Jan Martens (THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER, ANY ATTEMPT WILL END IN CRUSHED BODIES AND SHATTERED BONES), Nicole Beutler (6: THE SQUARE), as well as collaborations with the likes of Akram Khan, Ula Sickle, Olivier Dubois and Eszter Salamon. Her powerful movement language also comes into its own in her own work, which tours internationally.

In 2016, she and Nicole Geertruida made EFES, an exhausting duet in which perfection and fallibility raise intriguing questions about how we like to see human beings. Sorry, But I Feel Slightly Disidentified… (2018), a solo made by Benjamin Kahn for (and with input from) Cherish, was an attempt to create a cartography of how we experience and meet the other. The seeds for this production were laid within the framework of Fraslab, after which an artistic dialogue between Cherish and Frascati Producties was initiated. Hereafter, Cherish made LIVE (2018), a cross between dance performance and pop/rock concert in collaboration with musician Müşfik Can Müftüoğlu.

In 2019 Cherish worked at Frascati Producties on JEZEBEL, a dance performance inspired by the phenomenon Video Vixen from the hip-hop clips of the 90s. Jezebel, a contemporary hip-hop honey, refuses to be defined by others and shakes off her image by deconstructing and redefining it.
In May 2022, during Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, DARKMATTER premiered, a duet in which she and Camilo Mejía Cortés, with the help of the distorted rap choir, search for ways to detach their bodies and the daily reality in which they move from a forced perception. In the context of DARKMATTER, Cherish also gives workshops on the chopped & screwed technique, a process from hip-hop music that Cherish applies to the moving and performing body in the performance.

As part of Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam’s research programme Welcome To Our Guesthouse, Cherish made KILLED AND EXTENDED DARLINGS: SUBTLE WHINE in autumn 2023, an audiovisual performative landscape that embraces the subtle nuances and mechanics of gyration.

Cherish is currently working on FRANK – THE MONSTROUS AND HORROR THE 3RD PART OF A SPECULATIVE FABULATED TRILOGY (working title, premiering May 2025). In continuation of JEZEBEL and DARKMATTER, in FRANK, distortion will once again be one of the main ingredients to generate material. In addition, Cherish will look into the action of decay and discover how something gradually breaking down and getting less or worse can be another attempt to distort a form or information.

Cherish received the Amsterdam FRINGE and FRINGE International Bursary Awards 2019 with JEZEBEL. JEZEBEL was selected in 2020 for both the Dutch and Flemish Theaterfestival, which presented a jury selection of the best performances of the season and received the prestigious Charlotte Köhler award by the Prins Bernhard Foundation (Amsterdam) in 2022.
DARKMATTER was selected for both the Belgian Theater Festival and its Dutch counterpart. With DARKMATTER, Cherish received the BNG Bank Theater Prize (2023) and the Dutch Drama Jury prize for best direction (2023).

For her artistic work, she is interested in the transformation of the body on stage and in the “embodiment” of different physical images. Implementing distortion, decay, and dissonance, Cherish attempts to detach bodies from forced perceptions and their daily corporeal realities, underlining the complexity and contradictory nature of images that seem recognizable at first glance. Glitching the ‘’common’’ lexical, the lexical of the speaking being, she seeks the Uncanny, the Enigmatic, and the Monstrous to give shape to – and materialize speculative forms and fictions.

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