het Theater Festival

“DARKMATTER turns theatre back into a place full of unrealised potential. Where meaning once again becomes a high and at times even mystical game. And where the black body becomes unashamedly central, until it implodes and redefines itself.”


“Whether staggering 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, the chilling soundtrack and the haunting rap songs that Menzo and Cortés spit out live, Darkmatter is 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.”

De Standaard


Cherish Menzo / GRIP & Frascati Producties


Body can you become hypothetical, a galaxy, in full gear acceleration, a liquid star monster, failing to die?

In DARKMATTER, 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 a 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.




Concept & choreography: Cherish Menzo
Creation & performance: Camilo Mejía Cortés, Cherish Menzo
Lighting design: Niels Runderkamp
Musical composition: Gagi Petrovic, Michael Nunes
Mastering: Gagi Petrovic
Music list: via www.grip.house or www.frascatitheater.nl
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: via www.distortedrapchoir.com
Technicians: Niels Runderkamp, 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), Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), DeCoproducers (NL), Perpodium (BE)
Residenciers: 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)
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
€22 / +65: €20 / -26: €18 / -18: €14
duration: 85 min.
language: English, lyrics available in French and Dutch