Cherish Menzo (The Netherlands, Belgium) – DARKMATTER



ATTENTION. The performance contains: nudity, smoke, strobe light, loud music and blackout. Spectators arriving late will not be admitted to the performance.

Duration: 85 min. 

In the duet DARKMATTER, with the help of a Distorted Rap Choir, artist Cherish Menzo and her onstage partner Camilo Mejía Cortés, look for ways to detach their bodies, and the daily reality in which they move, from an imposed perception.

The title DARKMATTER is derived from dark matter, an astronomical phenomenon, and refers to the skin color of the performers’ bodies. The unfathomable dark matter incites curiosity. It is almost invisible, just as the dark body is in certain parts of society.

DARKMATTER wants to get rid of a biased way of looking at one’s own body and that of the other – and the stories we attribute to it. Menzo also throws her own body into battle, which results in a complex conversation that she wants to both enter into and transcend – a duality that feeds DARKMATTER.

“In this new project, I want to bend further and disconnect my personal view of stories linked to the dark body and blackness. Is there room to dream and to rethink and redraw this body? Can this process be disconnected from historical and existing ways of thinking, or are these fertile seeds that I should take with me in my work process? Finally, how do I open up this research and turn it into a more collective story?” – Cherish Menzo.

Cherish Menzo (°1988, The Netherlands) is a performing artist and choreographer, based in Amsterdam and Brussels. For her artistic work she is interested in the transformation of the body on stage and in the “embodiment” of different physical images. Images seem recognizable at first glance, but by highlighting their complexity and contradiction, Cherish 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. Using these elements as tools to give shape to – and materialize – uncanny, enigmatic forms and realities.


Concept and Choreography: Cherish Menzo

Creation and Performance: Camilo Mejía Cortés and Cherish Menzo

Lighting Design: Niels Runderkamp

Music Composition: Gagi Petrovic and Michael Nunes

Mastering: Gagi Petrovic and Michael Nunes

Costume Design: JustTatty.com

Scenography: Morgana Machado Marques

Dramaturgy: Renée Copraij

Singing and Vocal Coaches: Daniël Bonsu and Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong

Artistic Advice: Benjamin Kahn, Christian Yav and Nicole Geertruida

Production Intern: Pauline Van Nuffel

Production: GRIP, Frascati Producties

Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels, BE), CCN-Ballet national de Marseille dans le cadre de l’accueil studio / Ministère 7 de la Culture (FR), actoral festival (Marseille, FR), STUK (Leuven, BE), La Villette (Paris, FR), Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), 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).

In Collaboration With: Trill (Leuven, BE), WijzijnDOX (Utrecht, NL), De Coproducers (NL).

With the Financial Support of: the Flemish Government, The Performing Arts Fund NL, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and Cronos Invest.

Premiere: 12-15 May 2022, Beursschouwburg/Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels.

Photos: Yema Gieskes, Mélanie Musisi.


May 10 2024


21:00 - 22:25


Arts Printing House, Black Hall