Marielys Burgos Meléndez

Image by Rebecca Puretz
Marielys is a Puerto Rican artist, scholar and activist, currently completing MA in Dance Studies at SUNY/Brockport. She received two departmental awards, the "Jacques and Dawn Lipson Award in Performing Arts" and the "Moserrat Award", to participate in Kinitiras Choreography Lab Summer 2012.  

My interest in choreography

A feminist vision that comprehends the body –or the bodies- as resource of knowledge influences my work. Therefore, I acknowledge that my body’s multidimensionality is intrinsic to any aspect of my life. This has led me to question the parameters of my artistic practice, re focusing it towards processes and experiences rather than products. Nowadays, my creative process and artistic endeavours are based on an interdisciplinary perspective and encompass professional collaborations. Dance, film, photography, installation art, and performance art -among other manifestations- are the resources I use to embrace the complexities of the moving body and its relation to spaces, contexts, processes and structures. It has been through dance improvisation that I have been able to merge the conceptual and practical aspects of my practice and create mutable realities/experiences. The body –or bodies- has become the centre of my practice and discourse proposing a corporeal subjectivity, rather than a cognitive subjectivity. 

Even though composition is present in my work, choreography is an unknown territory for me. I have “learned” choreography from different perspectives that respond to particular aesthetics. These experiences have successfully taught me how to identify these aesthetic structures and the politics behind them. However, my understanding of the choreographic process is informed by a psychosocial perspective where the individual and social self are in constant interconnection with the existing social contexts –and realities- and where taking an explicit political stand is inevitable. 

At present, I am interested in validating the creative process as a space where critical dialogues can take place, knowledge can be deconstructed and reconstructed to create new structures. I believe that what I understand as dance and choreography have the capacity to propose new strategies of social interactions. This is where my interest in studying and practicing choreography comes from. I intend to deepen my understanding of choreography to discover how my body creates and recreates structures and how these structures relate to my social contexts. Kintiras Choreography Lab is a space for uncertainties, explorations, discoveries and critical dialogues.



The phrase The Human Factor was articulated by choreographer Robert Clark during the second week of the lab. This phrase and the proposition of bringing back "humanity" to the choreographic endeavor made an incision on my flesh and my ideas. I have been trying to embody this "principle" not only in my creative process and artistic practices, but also in my every day life -easier said than done-. However, I strongly believe that embracing our humanity -and therefore the humanity intrinsic in others- is the foundation of new knowledge.