Moving in November is looking for participants for the Distorted Rap Choir (inviting people from the African diaspora, 16+) formed by Cherish Menzo for her performance DARKMATTER, that will take place in this year’s Moving in November.
Performance artist Cherish Menzo works with electronic music, Chopped and Screwed and Rap. For her performance DARKMATTER she looks at the notions of Afrofuturism and posthumanism and explores the use of movement and voice, as a tool to look more closely at how we perceive ourselves and others.
If you have affinity with these topics, we invite you to take part in Cherish Menzo’s labo-workshop between November 8th and 12th to become a part of the Distorted Rap Choir, a project within the performance DARKMATTER.
About Cherish and the Distorted Rap Choir
Cherish is a performance artist, based in Amsterdam and Brussels. In 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. Cherish creates universes in which the Black body stands central. She floats between the nostalgia of the 90s and 2000s (hip-hop, rap lyrics, sci-fi, manga) and speculative futures to give shape and materialize uncanny, enigmatic forms and realities.
In DARKMATTER, Cherish searches for what might be new strategies and ways to transform the body and bring physicality to matter. For this she researches dark matter, Afrofuturism and Posthumanism, and also looks at the frictions these notions bring along.
She uses the Chopped and Screwed-methodology to shape a movement language specific to the DARKMATTER universe. This remixing technique Chopped and Screwed originated in hip-hop music, slowing down the tempo considerably and creating rhythm changes. The song gets a new “chopped” and “screwed” version through scratch effects, pauses, repeats, remixes, and skipping beats.
Cherish applies these tools and electronic music to movement, voice, and the body. Well-recognised sounds, images, and movements are sampled and shaken up, slowed down, and alienated on stage.
Having the desire to bring multiple voices to the audience, Cherish works with the Distorted Rap Choir: a locally formed choir of participants (the workshop is open for professionals and amateurs).
During the labo-workshop you will get to know the chopped & screwed methodology and learn a rap anthem by Cherish Menzo and vocal coach Daniel Bonsu. At the end of two days the rap anthem will be audio recorded.
On the one hand, the audio recording will be integrated in the soundscape of the performance.
On the other hand, the recording and your picture will be part of the website www.distortedrapchoir.com, that is visible for the audience of the performance DARKMATTER through a QR code in the evening program.
In each city a new locally formed Distorted Rap Choir is formed. Each recording of the rap anthem by the Distorted Rap Choir joins the previous ones. By layering the different local Distorted Rap Choir-recordings the choir grows in number of voices during the tour.
Profile of the Distorted Rap Choir participants
As a part of the search of the project DARKMATTER, the team looks into opening an ongoing dialogue about representation of the Black body in the performing arts with the local participants of the Distorted Rap Choirs.
Therefor we invite a variety of people from the African diaspora with different backgrounds and ages (16+) who are interested in joining the search for other stories and embodiments of the (Black) human body. We highly also encourage for people without an artistic profession or background to join.
When and Where?
The labo-workshop takes place between November 8 – 12 in cultural center Stoa in Itäkeskus.
More information about the practicalities and schedule you can find in the questionnaire.
The participation in the labo-workshop is free of charge and includes the visit of the performance DARKMATTER.
For the recording of the rap anthem and the use of it in the performance and on the website you receive a fee of 60 EUR.
The common language will be English.
How to participate?
Please fill in this questionnaire.
We will get back to you as soon as possible.
DARKMATTER is produced by GRIP and Frascati. More info on Cherish Menzo can be found on
https://www.grip.house/maker/cherish-menzo/ + www.frascatiproducties.nl/Cherish-Menzo.
info on the previous local Distorted Rap Choirs: www.distortedrapchoir.com
Photo © Yaqine Hamzaoui
The workshop is organized by Moving in November within the frame of European Network Project Life Long Burning – Futures Lost and Found, funded by Creative Europe 2023-2026.