JEZEBEL is a dance performance inspired by the ‘Video Vixen’: female models who appeared in hip hop video clips in the late ’90s and early noughties.
Images in the mass media – and in music videos particularly – often projected the female in a hyper-sensualized way. The repetitive images in hip hop videos reinforce stereotypes associated in particular with black/dark/coloured women. Video Vixens – also referred to as ‘hip hop honeys’ or ‘video girls’ – were the subject of severe criticism and often typified as the ‘Jezebels’ of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In the pre-Youtube era – when MTV still meant Music Television – the Video Vixen model played a central role in video clips. In spite of the explicit lyrics (usually written by men) and the sensual, seductive and scantily clad appearance of the vixen, her performance had a great influence on the aesthetics of these clips. As well as on the popularity of the (male) artist.
During the past twenty years, the Video Vixen has both suffered and benefitted from this. Today, she stands for much more than the objectified ‘ride or die’ model within a male-dominated culture.
Jezebel refuses to be defined by others. She navigates the landscape of hip hop culture, looking for ways to reclaim her own image. Can Jezebel deconstruct the controversial stereotype associated with the black hip hop honey? How did this video girl redefine herself in 2019?
PREMIERE Nov 5th, 2019 at Frascati (Amsterdam, NL)
CONCEPT, CHOREOGRAPHY & PERFORMANCE Cherish Menzo in coproduction with Frascati Producties
LIGHTING DESIGN & TECHNICAL COORDINATION Niels Runderkamp
MUSIC Michael Nunes
VIDEO Andrea Casetti
COSTUMES Daniel Smedeman
DRAMATURGY Renée Copraij
OUTSIDE EYE Berthe Spoelstra, Christian Yav and Nicole Geertruida
VOCAL COACH Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong
CAMPAIGN IMAGE Tatchatrin Choeychom
CO-PRODUCTION Frascati Productions
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Bibi Scholten van Aschat
DISTRIBUTION AND TOUR
MANAGEMENT GRIP and Frascati Productions
WITH THE SUPPORT OF Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst THANKS TO Benjamin Kahn and Centre Chorégraphique Le Château