Cherish Menzo, Jezebel (foto Bas De Brouwer)
Cherish Menzo


12 September 2023, 8.30 pm

Potenza, Il Piccolo teatro | Cesam

8 euro / reduced 6 euro [buy online]

Idea, choreography and performance Cherish Menzo. Lighting and technical coordination Niels Runderkamp. Music Michael Nunes. Video Andrea Casetti. Costumes Daniel Smedeman. Dramaturgy Renée Copraij. External eye Berthe Spoelstra, Christian Yav and Nicole Geertruida. Vocal coach Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong. Image Tatchatrin Choeychom. Co-production Frascati Producties. Production manager Bibi Scholten Van Aschat. Distribution and tour management Grip and Frascati Producties. International distribution A Propic – Line Rousseau, Marion Gauvent, Lara van Lookeren. With the support of Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst. With thanks to Benjamin Kahn and the Center Chorégraphique Le Château Foto © Bas De Brouwer.

Jezebel is inspired by Video Vixens, those hyper-sensual model-like protagonists of late 90s and early 2000s hip hop videos. Amid glittering gold, syncopated rhythms and provocative dresses, the constantly repeated image proposed by these videos reinforce stereotypes associated with black women, in a loop between self-determination and objectification. Also called “hip-hop honeys” and “video girls”, Video Vixens were the subject of severe criticism and branded as the “jezebels”, the “bad girls” of the time.  However, their performances had a great influence on the aesthetics of that period, as well as on the popularity of the (male) artists. And all despite both explicitly demeaning lyrics (usually written by men) and their supposed provocative appearance (for men). Through all this the Video Vixen has benefited and suffered at the same time, and today represents much more than an objectified model at the total disposal of a male dominated culture.
Jezebel refuses to be defined by others. She navigates the landscape of hip-hop culture in search of ways to reclaim her image. How can this “video girl” deconstruct stereotypes and redefine herself today?

Cherish Menzo is an Amsterdam-born artist and performer of Surinamese origins. She has danced with several choreographers including the Akram Khan Company, Leo Lerus, Hanzel Nezza, Jan Martens, Nicole Beutler, Benjamin Kahn, Lisbeth Gruwez, Eszter Salamon and Ula Sickle. On stage she investigates the different interactions and possibilities between audience and performer.

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