Melanie Aguirre

Teaching Artist-in-Residence, Summer 2018

Through this unique residency, Melanie Aguirre offered audiences a new entry point to understanding and appreciating abstract art and encouraged participants to develop their own stories through experiences in movement and music.

Melanie Aguirre envisioned, curated, and led a series of hip hop dance experiences that aligned with the artwork of the abstract artists on view—Christine Hiebert, Donald Judd, and Ellen Kozak and Scott D. Miller. The dance experiences were gestural depictions of the elements earth, wind, water, and fire. They were presented over the course of four weekends, one each month, with a Saturday workshop teaching a particular hip hop style and a Sunday interactive performance in the galleries in the same dance style. Participants learned breaking, litefeet, and flexing from professional dancers and were invited to join performances in the galleries under their guidance. Hip hop, with its energetic gesture, rhythm, and angularity, speaks the language of abstraction in a kinesthetic medium that is universally accessible and engaging.

A founder of the entertainment company Rep Your Style and a young community leader in New York City, Melanie Aguirre provides the city-wide dance community with competitions in performance, discussion groups, charity fundraisers, workshops, and job placement through creative outreach. As a dance educator, she teaches multiple styles, such as Waacking, Vogue, Hustle, and Belly, both regionally and internationally. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmo Girl and Dance Spirit, has been a member of the House of Ninja, and Dance Soul Co., and has developed choreography for artists Keyshia Cole and Shaggy, and for Univision and MTV. In addition, she has a featured role on the new ABC series “The Unusual,” is highlighted in Usher’s “Lil Freak” video, and has been principal performer on NBC for Pitbull, Neyo, T-Pain, and Marc Anthony.