• Dance
  • SFU 15
  • Live + Online
  • Run Ended


Showing on Jan 29-31; Online Jan 29-Feb 4

Playing at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre) 

Two Black performers captured intensely mid-dance. The Black man on the left has a buzzcut, one of his arms is raised, with both hands in a fist. The Black man on the right has long hair, posing similarly, except with one hand open. They are both looking at the ground.
DARKMATTER, credit: Bas de Brouwer

Cherish Menzo/GRIP & Frascati Producties (Belgium/The Netherlands)

PuSh @ SFU Woodward’s Anniversary Series

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

Moving with otherworldly intensity through a collision of gritty physicality and metaphysical possibility, two dancers find new ways to examine and detach their bodies from the ways they are perceived and the daily realities in which they move. They peel back layers of socially imposed meaning, entering a complex conversation of attraction and repulsion. Dark matter and black holes meet and collide to give birth to an (afro)futuristic and enigmatic body. 

Incorporating tempo remixing techniques from hip-hop music and accompanied by fragments of community-generated rap anthems, Cherish Menzo invents a movement language that reimagines the biased way we look at our own, and other’s, bodies and the stories we attribute to them.  

DARKMATTER transcends dimension and form to expand our vision of the possible. 

View the song texts from the show here.

★★★★ ‘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.’

–Charlotte De Somviele, De Standaard

Co-creator and choreographer Cherish Menzo spoke with PuSh Director of Programming, Gabrielle Martin, about DARKMATTER on the PuSh Play podcast. Listen to the episode here.  

Explore similar shows

Artist Bio

Cherish Menzo/GRIP & Frascati Producties (Belgium/The Netherlands)

Cherish Menzo (Brussels/Amsterdam) is one of the four artistic leaders of the dance organization GRIP, together with Femke Gyselinck, Jan Martens and Steven Michel.

As a dancer/performer, Cherish has appeared in the work of Lisbeth Gruwez, Jan Martens, Nicole Beutler, Eszter Salamon, Benjamin Kahn, Akram Khan and others. 

As a choreographer, her powerful movement language comes into its own in her own work, which tours internationally.

Cherish seeks out forms of movement and being, while placing beauty and the grotesque on an equal footing. She consciously seeks out an alienating effect to guide both the viewer and herself away from the known. Away from the familiar that we sometimes too easily equate with ‘the (only) truth’. She floats between the nostalgia of 90s and 00s hip-hop and the realms of industrial hip-hop, rap lyrics, manga and speculative fiction.

She created JEZEBEL (’19) and DARKMATTER (‘22) with GRIP and Frascati Producties, both productions were selected for both the Theaterfestival in Flanders and its Dutch counterpart. 

GRIP was founded in 2014 by choreographer and dancer Jan Martens and manager Klaartje Oerlemans.

From 2023 on, GRIP choreographers Femke Gyselinck, Jan Martens, Cherish Menzo, and Steven Michel act together as artistic directors. They do so in close dialogue with Klaartje Oerlemans and Rudi Meulemans, who coordinates and facilitates the dialogue between the four makers in his role of artistic coordinator.


SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre) 

149 W Hastings St, Vancouver


  • January 29: 7:30 & Online
  • January 30: 7:30 & Online
  • January 31: 7:30 & Online
  • February 1: Online
  • February 2: Online
  • February 3: Online
  • February 4: Online

Runtime: 85 min, no intermission

Post-show talkback: We regret to announce the talkback for the Jan 3o performance has been cancelled. To hear more about the show’s creation process with Cherish Menzo, listen to this episode of the PuSh Play podcast.

No latecomers

Content Advisory

Strobe lights, incense, loud sound, nudity, long black out periods


In-Person: $39
Buy In-Person Tickets

Streaming: $30
Buy Streaming Tickets

Save 15% on the two shows in our PuSh @ SFU Woodward’s 15th Anniversary Series, DARKMATTER and L’amour telle une cathédrale ensevelie, with code ANNIVERSARY15


Icon signalling a deaf or hard of hearing friendly performance

Deaf/hard of hearing friendly

The visual story provides detailed information about what to expect during the show. Access the visual story here (Google Slides).

This highly visual show is Deaf/Hard of hearing friendly. This written introduction for Deaf/Hard of hearing audience members includes a description of the sonic elements of the show.

Watch the ASL description of the show:


CONCEPT AND CHOREOGRAPHY Cherish Menzo CREATION AND PERFORMANCE Camilo Mejía Cortés, Cherish Menzo LIGHTING DESIGN Niels Runderkamp MUSICAL COMPOSITION Gagi Petrovic, Michael Nunes MASTERING Gagi Petrovic MUSIC LIST GRIP, Frascati Producties 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  CHOIR: Distorted Rap Choir

WITH REFERENCES TO AND FRAGMENTS OF Act I of the American Opera ‘Troubled Island’ by William Grant Still (1949), ‘BLACKSPACE: ON THE POETICS OF AN AFROFUTURE’, ‘The Mask’ by Paul Laurens Dunbar, Choreography from the Missy Elliot’s video clips ‘Throw it back’ (2019), The Mythology of the American electronic music duo Drexciya

TECHNICIANS Niels Runderkamp, Amber Stallenberg/Nele Verreyken PRODUCTION GRIP, Frascati Producties INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION A Propic – Line Rousseau, Marion Gauvent, Lara van Lookeren THANKS TO Eric Cyuzuzo, Jan Fedinger, Dries Douibi, Khadija El Kharraz Alami

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), De Coproducers (NL), 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), 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