& GRIP & Frascati Producties
Body can you become hypothetical, a galaxy, in full gear acceleration, a liquid star monster, failing to die?
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 applying the the Chopped and Screwed method to her movement language. A remix technique from hip-hop music in which the tempo is sharply reduced. By stretching the notions of time, the register changes and the performing body manages to generate new readings.
Parallel to the performance there will be Distorted Rap Choir trajectory. At each location, a dozen local people of colour are invited to take part in lab-workshops working on themes from
DARKMATTER. At the end of the lab-workshop the choir will record a rap anthem, which will be integrated into the performance. On every location a new choir and therefore also an extra layer will be added.
DARKMATTER wants to create a thorough reshuffle of our atoms, looking for a new form for – and way of looking at – our body and the complex outside world to which it relates.
The different choirs can be seen and heard on www.distortedrapchoir.com
Music and text credits via >this link<
'This performance makes you rabidly want to see everything from - and know about - Cherish Menzo [...]. She blurs lines, makes our eyes bulge. She is fascinating in her thinking and in its translation to the stage. To follow very, very closely.'
Amélie Blaustein Niddam, Toute La Culture, 14 may 2022
'The somewhat abstract accumulation of (pop) cultural approaches to the black community thus seems primarily a toss-up about how the lived materiality of black bodies, in the face of a temporal unruliness parallel to the scratching of a record, can break up the darkness of a dark past.'
Tessa Vannieuwenhuyze, Etcetera, 15 may 2022
'Cherish Menzo and Camilo Mejia Cortés are impressive from start to finish, with their presence, their gestures, their looks, the way they stand on stage and their mastery of flow every time the poetic rap makes its appearance.'
Jean-Marie Wynants, Le Soir, 15 may 2022
'D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER is a punky performance, a trip full of mystery and symbolism. Dark in its consequence, light at the end of the tunnel.'
Moos van den Broek, Theaterkrant, 16 may 2022
'Whether teetering on their stiletto latex boots or slipping naked through black paint, the duo surprises with powerful images after each blackout. Thanks to the bold lighting design, chilling soundtrack and haunting rap songs that Menzo and Cortés spit out live, Darkmatter becomes not only a fascinating descent into the heart of the darkness that lurks within us all, but also a poetic critique of representation that celebrates the richness of being black.' ★★★★
Charlotte De Somviele, De Standaard, 16 may 2022
PREMIERE: May 12-15, Kunstenfestivaldesarts/Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE)
CONCEPT AND CHOREOGRAPHY: Cherish Menzo
CREATION AND PERFORMANCE: Cherish Menzo, Camilo Mejía Cortés
LIGHTING DESIGN: Niels Runderkamp
MUSICAL COMPOSITION: Gagi Petrovic, Michael Nunes
MASTERING: Gagi Petrovic
MUSIC LIST: bit.ly/dm-musiccredits
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:
Brussels: Badi Rezzak, Hazel Hoi Ching Lam, Jessica Boyeleba Balehen, Jessica Harkay, Katoucha Ngombe, Louisa li De Vos, Parvin Saljoughi, Rhoda Shiroya
Amsterdam: Erwin Kiene, Imani Heijmans, Janelle Ignatius, Monèzra Rudge, René Twizeye Mungu Bizimana, Sifra Coulet, Vainergill Thurnim, Whitney Krens
Geneva: Berhiu Habtemariam, Bétiel Kahsay, Emma Ebona, José - Maxence ONGOLO ABAH, Raphaël Clément ONGOLO ABAH, Rasmata Kouraogo, Taemu Gebremedhin
Rome: Antonio Gabriel Petrosemolo, Germain, Ibrahim Thiam Bongoura, Manuel De Persio, Mouktar Saley, Riccardo Jonatan Calero Leon, Valeria Wandja
Marseille: Alexandre Malvault, Ali Yacouba, Ayakan Dükü, George, Gilda Dixon, Marie-Rose Frigiere, Mouayad Chanfi, Plamedi Matembele, Thibaud Meyrand, Zira Mouaci
Kortrijk: Charlotte Itoko, Ivandro Spencer, Michaëla Mahawa Kaba, Ouarda Bouchti, Rita Flora Gouem
Louvain: Emeraude Tshidibi Kabeya, Jacqueline Mello de Oliveira, Elise Van Hummelen, Anatalia Kibonge, Oliha Titilayo, Joëlle Francis, Ines Shockaert, Joëtta Walakallie
Oslo: Faduma Mohamud, Ryan Mohamed, Antonio Ramos, Gabrielle Solaké, Marlene Sonja, Hamda Barise
thanks to Adja Fassa
TECHNICIANS: Niels Runderkamp and 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), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), 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)
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION: A Propic – Line Rousseau, Marion Gauvent, Lara Van Lookeren
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