Jezebel is a dance performance inspired on the Video Vixen: a female model that appeared primarily in hip-hop oriented video clips in the late 90s and early 2000s. The images presented in mass media, especially in music videos, often portray a hyper-sensual image of the female gender. The repetitive images in hip-hop videos reinforce stereotypes that are mainly associated with black/women of colour. Video Vixens, also known as hip hop honeys or video girls, brought a lot of criticism and were often seen as the Jezebels of the late 90s and early 2000s.
Before Youtube, when MTV was still standing for Music Television, the Video Vixen was the model seen in hip-hop video clips. The objectifying lyrics, often written by men and the sensual, seductive and scantily clad appearance of the vixen do not alter the fact that her presence and performance have a major influence on the image of the video clips and the popularity of the artist. Over the past twenty years, the Video Vixen label has experienced backlash and empowerment it no longer stands for the objectified ride or die model in a culture dominated by men.
Unwilling to be defined by others, Jezebel navigates through the landscape of hip-hop culture and looks for ways to reclaim her image. Can Jezebel deconstruct the controversial stereotype associated with the black hip hop honey? How does this video girl redefine herself in 2019?
'The whole performance balances on the boundary line between threat and seduction, […] alienation and temptation.' – Theaterkrant
concept, choreography & performance Cherish Menzo | lighting design & technical coordination Niels Runderkamp | music Michael Nunes | video Andrea Casetti | costumes Daniel Smedeman | dramaturgy Renée Copraij | outside eye Berthe Spoelstra, Christian Yav & Nicole Geertruida | vocal coach Shari Kok-Sey-Tjong | campaign image Tatchatrin Choeychom | co-production Frascati Productions | production management Bibi Scholten van Aschat | distribution & tour management GRIP & Frascati Productions | with the support of Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst | thanks to Benjamin Kahn & Centre Chorégraphique Le Château