Cherish Menzo: D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER

Cherish Menzo: D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER




05:33 – 05:33


clear sky

With: Moving in November

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.

Having the desire to bring multiple voices to the audience, Menzo forms in every city the performance is shown a Distorted Rap Choir, inviting people from the African diaspora to record a rap anthem that becomes part of the performance. By layering the different local Distorted Rap Choir-recordings the choir grows in number of voices during the tour. Just as in her previous project JEZEBEL, presented in Moving in November 2022, Menzo stretches her movement language further by applying 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.

DARKMATTER reshuffles our atoms, looking for a new form for – and a way of looking at – our body and the complex outside world to which it relates.

Cherish Menzo is known for her commanding and precise physical presence, both as dancer and choreographer. She completed her studies in Urban Contemporary Dance at Amsterdam University of the Arts in 2013. Since then, she has collaborated with artists such as Eszter Salamon, Akram Khan, Leo Lerus, Hanzel Nezza, Olivier Dubois, Benjamin Kahn, Lisbeth Gruwez, Jan Martens, and Nicole Beutler. In addition to her career as a performer, Menzo has been creating her own works since 2016.

Menzo challenges societal norms and constructs alternative worlds where the black body takes center stage. Her first solo piece, JEZEBEL, was premiered in 2019 and received both the Amsterdam Fringe Award and the International Bursary Award.

Cherish Menzo is one of the four artistic leaders of the dance organization GRIP, together with Femke Gyselinck, Jan Martens and Steve Michel.

Camilo Mejía Cortés grew up in Cali, Colombia, and moved to Spain at 14. He received dance education in Barcelona and then joined the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. He participated in various productions including Sound of the Trap by the Bodhi Project and Cecilia Bengolea, and L’incoronazione di Poppea directed by Jan Lauwers, who later invited him to join Needcompany, where he performed in War and TurpentineIsabella’s RoomAll the good, and PIE (Probabilities of Independent Events). Since May 2022, Cortés has been touring internationally with D̶A̶R̶K̶MATTER.

Currently, Cortés is working on a personal project that explores the influence of salsa music on his artistic discourse. He delves into the artistic, socio-political, and spiritual aspects of this genre to contribute to the archive of the experiences of the African Diaspora.

Duration: 85 min

Please note: Stroboscope effects are used in this performance and there are 3 extensive black-outs. The music in this work can be perceived as intensive, earplugs are at your disposal. You will encounter nude bodies on stage.


Sat 11 Nov 2023 – 12 Nov 2023 Closed today


clear sky

Turunlinnantie 1, Itäkeskus,
00900 Helsinki