EVENTS Photo by Ben Licera Images
April 4, 2019 New York Times
Rudy’s work Coverage performed in NYC
STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY at N.Y.U. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (April 11-13, 7:30 p.m.). Petronio presents the fifth edition of “Bloodlines,” an autobiographical project that pays homage to the creators of postmodern dance and traces the choreographer’s own influences. This season contains some gems: In addition to Merce Cunningham’s “Tread” (1970), with décor by Bruce Nauman — 10 industrial fans blow into the audience — there is Rudy Perez’s “Coverage” (1970). Perez, who studied with Cunningham, was a rarity: an artist of color in Judson Dance Theater, the 1960s collective that helped usher in postmodern dance. The program also features the premiere of Petronio’s “American Landscapes,” with the artist Robert Longo providing the visual design and the lute player Jozef van Wissem and the filmmaker Jim Jarmusch composing the score. 212-998-4941, nyuskirball.org
March 1, 2019 by Cassie Mey, New York Public Library Jerome Robbins Dance Division
“It was just something that happened, like everything else.” - Rudy Perez
Since 1974, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has been conducting an Oral History Project with renowned dance professionals. As the Oral History Archivist, I oversee this remarkable collection of over 450 voices and continue to add to it annually. These dance oral histories - unedited and in-depth audio interviews - capture the personalities, creative process, and relationships in the dance field that are not evident in other forms of historical documents such as videos, programs, or articles.
My Library colleagues and I felt very passionate about including Rudy Perez's story in the Dance Oral History Project because of his importance as a post-modern dance artist whose experimental work expands the field of what dance is and can be. When I met Sarah Swenson in May of 2018 at the Reference Desk at NYPL, it serendipitously began a process by which she helped connect me with Rudy in order to set up his oral history. We hoped to capture testimony from Rudy himself about his life's journey: coming of age as an artist in the Judson Dance Theater scene; presenting his unique performance works for over 15 years in NYC; and moving to Los Angeles where he has been highly influential in the dance/performance community since 1979.
It was an honor for me to interview Rudy in his apartment this past February 5th, 6th, and 7th, for a total of nearly 4 hours. Yet interviewing Rudy was so much more than the moments in which we were sitting down recording. In the six months leading up to Rudy’s interviews, we spoke by phone frequently and Rudy began to share his memories with me. I combed through the Dance Division’s collection in New York which contains videos, photographs, and clippings on Rudy’s life and career - mostly while he was based in NYC. I also visited the recently closed MoMA exhibition on Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done, where Rudy’s first piece from 1963, Take Your Alligator with You, was featured in the exhibit. I followed these archival traces of his work to our eventual in-person meeting in early February.
Once I was in L.A., Rudy graciously opened up his home and life to me. I observed his Sunday morning workshop class at the Westside Academy of Dance - as Rudy described it in the interview, “Structural moves dealing with energy and space and time.” While taking in Rudy’s approach and process, I wanted to join his longtime students in following his prompts such as “fly a kite,” or “run to catch a bus,” - and then his directive, “try to find a different way that you’ve never done it before.” As the class continued, Rudy continued to develop the sequence of prompts through new directives such as doing them in place, or using them as a warm up. They then performed a new, in-process piece for me - an audience of one - my first time seeing Rudy’s work live! I was struck by the honest presence of each performer and the simple but interwoven beauty of the patterns they moved through - with chairs and in the space with one another. I was further moved when Anne Grimaldo demonstrated and taught the other students a phrase from Take Your Alligator with You. The next day I looked through articles and watched videos in the Rudy Perez Archives at the University of Southern California’s Special Collections in order to further my understanding of Rudy’s life and works while in the LA area.
During the recording sessions, each day began with Rudy giving myself and Emma Rose Brown, the Oral History Assistant, a tour of his building. He’d orient us to different rooms and views of his neighborhood, introducing us to neighbors that we encountered along the way. We were immersed in his daily reality before we sat down to talk about his past. For example, while talking in the sunny octagonal library space before our recording session one day, Rudy remarked that he’d like to title this interview, “When does a hobby become a career.” Emma and I noticed that Rudy has a fine tuned clarity about the blurring of art and life, a sensibility that can even be shocking to most of us who refuse to let this sort of blurring happen on a daily basis.
Rudy is truthful about where he is at in any given present moment - and this interview was no exception. He shared frankly both on and off the record about his current concerns around his health and facing the end of his life. He disclosed that he had hoped for an interview years ago, when his energy and outlook were better suited for this kind of project. Yet he understood the enormous value of recording his story, and, as he said many times throughout the week, was making the best of the situation at hand. He reflected on this several times during the interviews when he said, “That’s part of being a professional. You do whatever the situation asks you to do.” The resulting conversation was a compelling opening into his current perspective at the age of 89 and what it felt like for him to look back over his life through this process.
Interviewing Rudy was an unforgettable and moving experience. I’m certain that this candid and revealing oral history will lead current and future scholars to new insights into his resonant life, personality, and artistry. In the upcoming year, his oral history will be processed for the Library. The transcripts will always be publicly available at the Library for the Performing Arts in the 3rd floor research area, while the audio will be streaming through the Library’s Digital Collections pages. On behalf of the Dance Division, we are tremendously grateful to Rudy for adding his unique testimony and perspective to the Dance Oral History Project!
-Cassie Mey firstname.lastname@example.org
October 11, 2018: Rudy Perez Ongoing Sunday Workshops - 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Every Sunday!
Rudy continues his ongoing workshop Structural Moves - not your regular dance class! Rudy works with his influences from having been a member of the Judson Dance Theater in the ’60s, and has created his own method and approach to moving.
Be challenged! At Westside School of Ballet. $10, free street parking.
September 6, 2018 New York Times
A ‘Bloodlines’ Season of Merce Cunningham and Judson Dance Theater
By Joshua Barone
When “Bloodlines,” the Stephen Petronio Company’s series that revives works of American postmodern dance, returns for its fifth season in spring, the troupe will add a third Merce Cunningham work to its repertory: “Tread” (1970).
Cunningham’s company was dissolved, by design, in 2011; his centennial is being celebrated around the world this season. With the performance of “Tread” at “Bloodlines,” scheduled to run April 11-13 at the Skirball Center of New York University, the Petronio troupe will have the most Cunningham dances in its repertory of any American company.
Including the work in “Bloodlines” signals “our commitment to history,” Mr. Petronio said in a statement. “Tread,” with music by Christian Wolff and décor by Bruce Nauman (the subject of a sprawling retrospective opening at the Museum of Modern Art in October), is considered one of Cunningham’s lighter works, with farcical movement and entanglements. Last season, the Petronio dancers performed another playful Cunningham piece from 1970, “Signals”; previously, “Bloodlines” had featured his 1968 “RainForest.”
Joining “Tread” next spring will be the 1970 work “Coverage,” by Rudy Perez, a student of Cunningham’s and an often-overlooked artist of the Judson Dance Theater movement (the subject of another exhibition at MoMA, opening on Sept. 16, where the Petronio company will perform in December).
“Rudy Perez is one of the Judson members who altered dance-making for future generations,” Mr. Petronio said. “While his contributions are underrecognized, his experimentations are evident in ‘Coverage,’ which uniquely explores values of minimalism and theatricality, essentialism and drama.”
As with previous seasons of “Bloodlines,” the program will also include a premiere by Mr. Petronio. His new “American Landscapes” will feature design by Robert Longo and an original score by the Dutch composer Jozef van Wissem and the filmmaker and musician Jim Jarmusch.
August 16, 2018: Announcing Suite for Rudy Perez. Italian composer Alessandro Girasoli has just released a new album entitled Suites for Dance I, which includes the 5-movement Suite for Rudy Perez, a collection of compositions created in celebration of Rudy’s contribution American dance. Available on iTunes and Amazon Digital Music. Alessandro writes:
“I had the chance to meet and know Rudy Perez, thanks to my wife Sarah Swenson, who has been taking care of certain aspects of Rudy's artistic life for many years. I felt that his way of thinking about art, with his clean and linear dance style, almost minimal, and reduced to the essentiality of gesture and movement, was very close to my own. When I was fortunate to meet Rudy in person, I was immediately fascinated by the person and the artist because of his sensibility and passion, despite his age, in transmitting his artistic experience. He had a manner of spontaneous delivery without any kind of pretense - just a loyalty to himself, but at the same time with a clear and absolute artistic rigor. Immediately, I wanted to pay homage to his artistic personality through my music "Suite for Rudy Perez", thinking of his artistic and life journey, as a metaphor for an endless journey.” ~Alessandro Girasoli, ottobre 2018
January 25, 2018: MoMA announces major exhibition of Judson era artists, including Rudy Perez.
December 20, 2017: Los Angeles, CA. Grace Privett-Mendoza, Smith college student, Colburn Dance alumna, and Cheap Imitation veteran, writes about Rudy Perez.
December 16, 2017: Los Angeles, CA. Colburn advanced modern dance students perform Rudy Perez's 1983 Cheap Imitation, reconstructed by Tamsin Carlson. 7:00 pm - free admission. Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.
June 20, 2016: Mr. Perez conducts a workshop for dance students at the Colburn School, assisted by Jeffrey Grimaldo and Michael Rowley.
May 14, 2016: Los Angeles, CA. Colburn students perform Rudy Perez's 1983 Cheap Imitation, reconstructed by Tamsin Carlson. 7:30 pm - free admission - no reservations required. At Aratani Japan America Theatre at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Little Tokyo. 244 South San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. On this evening The Colburn Dance Council will present Mr. Perez with an award in recognition of his contributions to and influence on modern dance in Los Angeles. Karen Goodman will reflect on his career.
Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble Auditions
Join and participate in a workshop
Join the ensemble in the process of creating a new work
at West Side Academy of Dance
1709 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
School phone: 310-828-2018
Workshop underwritten in part from the UC Irvine Lifetime Achievement Award
Studio fee $5
November 7, 2015 7:30 PM Free
The Art of Performance in Irvine: A Tribute to Rudy Perez
Rudy Perez receives his 3rd Lifetime Achievement Award from UCI.
Performances of new and archival work by the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble
with guest students of the UCI Dance Department.
Ulysses Jenkins & Deborah Oliver, Co-Producers & Co-Curators.
At xMPL (Experimental Media Performance Lab)
Read the November 9 Seedance.com review by Jeff Slayton
Read the November 6 Los Angeles Times preview by Deborah Vankin
Read the November 4 Fjordreview.com preview by Victoria Looseleaf
Spring Open Rehearsals
Rudy Perez will be receiving his 3rd Lifetime Achievement Award, this time from UC Irvine, and will be holding open rehearsals for participants and observers in preparation for the event.
Workshop explorations include open sources, alternative moves, and performance presence.
Questions? call Rudy at 323-463-8677
Starting April 12, and every Sunday after from 11 AM to 1PM, donation.
at Westside School of Ballet. School phone 310-828-2018. 1709 Stewart Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Rudy Perez Continues Workshops at Westside School of Ballet.:
The "Next Movement" Workshop consists of Traditional and Contemporary Techniques as well as Structured Improvisation as process towards creative new movement.Dancers are invited to participate Sundays from 11-1pm. Partial Scholarships Available. Assisting Mr. Perez will be Anne and Jeff Grimaldo, long-time members of the Performance Ensemble. For information email Mr. Perez at email@example.com
Westside School of Ballet
1709 Stewart Street at Olympic
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Join Rudy Perez and his Ensemble during the summer's weekly Performance Lab! Drop in any Sunday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Westside School of Ballet, 1709 Stewart St., Santa Monica. $5
To read more about Rudy on KCET's Artbound blog written by Victoria Looseleaf, click here.
"...Wow, Victoria. A major article. Rudy seems to be prolific and earnest. It's a real tribute to him." ~Steve Paxton
May 3, 2014, at 7:30 PM:
Rudy and The Ensemble present Order, a collaboration between Rudy and Ensemble members Anne and Jeff Grimaldo, Tamsin Carlson, and Michael Rowley, with soundscore by Jacki Apple and Tom Rechion. At Highways 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Performance, LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Performance Art in the Big '80s:
Hosted by The Dark Bob, the second night is a program of about a dozen 5-minute live performance pieces, demonstrating how much and how fast things changed in the 1980s, for performance artists and for everyone else. Featuring performances by: Linda J. Albertano, Jacki Apple, Fat & F****d Up, John Fleck, Weba Garretson, Ulysses Jenkins, Dan Kwong, Marcus Kuilland-Nazario, Richard Newton, Rudy Perez (with Jacki Apple and Tom Recchion), and John M. White.
Visit the webpage by clicking here.
March 4, 2014, at 7 PM:
An exhibition from the archives of Rudy Perez at USC, and a performance by the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble, Unperformable, as part of USC's Visions and Voices Series! Unperformable is a collaboration between Rudy and Ensemble members Anne and Jeff Grimaldo, Tamsin Carlson, Michael Rowley, and Alessia Patregnani.
Join us at USC for the debut performance of a new piece by dance pioneer Rudy Perez, whose archive was acquired by the USC Libraries in 2002. Perez's groundbreaking choreography emerged from the creative ferment of 1960s and '70s New York, intersecting with performance art and the compositions of John Cage and other experimental musicians. In his youth, Perez worked various day jobs and studied at night with the giants of modern dance: Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Mary Anthony. His breakthrough solos with the Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s helped spark the postmodern dance movement. In 2009, this dance legend celebrated his 80th birthday with performances of two new works, Surrender, Dorothy! and open suite/WHOOSH...the traffic. Perez's latest piece, Unperformable, will be premiered and followed by a discussion with Perez, USC Annenberg professor and dance critic Sasha Anawalt and USC School of Dramatic Arts professor Margo Apostolos. In conjunction, the USC Libraries will display rare items from Perezâ€™s personal archive and excerpts from recently digitized films of his performances from the last 50 years.
Organized by the USC Libraries.
Visit the webpage by clicking here.
New Performance Lab time! Every Sunday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Westside Academy of Dance, 1709 Stewart St., Santa Monica. $5
To read the new blog about Rudy on KCET's Artbound blog Click here.
"...Wow, Victoria. A major article. Rudy seems to be prolific and earnest. It's a real tribute to him." ~Steve Paxton
Join the legendary Rudy Perez and The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble for this rare opportunity to participate in its weekly performance lab. Perez, who studied with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham, was also part of New York's groundbreaking Judson Dance Theatre. A Los Angeles treasure for more than three decades, The L.A. Times recently wrote, "...Perez continues to chart an unwavering course where pedestrian moves transcend the mundane to reveal bold, deep ideas. The choreographer inspires a rabid loyalty and most of the dancers have performed with him for years. Indeed, his style is in their bones." Now you, too, can study with this master dancemaker and ensemble. The lab includes technique, improvisation, movement innovation, and individual skills, with an emphasis on the design and architecture of movement in space. Perez personally directs the lab with participation by ensemble members, including Anne Grimaldo, Jeff Grimaldo, Tamsin Carlson, and Sarah Swenson, all working choreographers. Participants are invited to show their own work as a part of the lab, using the challenges of space and sound. Dance, the most ethereal of art forms, is passed down from body to body. Don't miss this extraordinary chance to work with one of the great choreographers of our time, as Rudy Perez passes his knowledge of the body down to yours. The workshops are held at Westside Academy of Dance, 1709 Stewart St., Santa Monica, every Sunday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM $5
Rudy was 83 on November 24th!
After 35 years in Los Angeles, the East coast remembers Rudy Perez: Rudy is featured in the latest edition of The Movement Research Performance Journal Number 41, curated by Lydia Bell.
Click here to view the Table of Contents. And if you'd like to order a copy of the journal, Click here.
Also, Rudy has a section in the retrospective catalogue, Judson Now,
celebrating Judson's 50th Anniversary, available here. Select Platform 2012.
May 7, 2012
Rudy Perez Shares His Legacy: Mr. Perez was recently invited to speak and show his documentary at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Hollywood. The event was arranged by Diana MacNeil, former Bella Lewitzky dancer and instructor at AMDA. The lecture was made possible in part by a Santa Monica Artist Fellowship Award to Mr. Perez.
Rudy has been invited to appear in the Judson Dance Theater's 50th Anniversary in New York City this fall.
The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble will present a preview of Rudy's new work, An Unperformable Play, later in 2012.
January 26, 2012
7:00 PM, Free, Billy Wilder Theatre at Hammer Museum.Rudy Perez performs his latest solo, Download Overload, as a part of "Walking Tall", along with Senga Nengudi, VinZula Kara, Martina Young, Ava Hassinger with Maren Hassingera (Matriarch), Nobuko Miyamoto, May Sun, Barbara McCullough, Cheryl Banks Smith, Breeze Smith, Sanza Fitt, and others. A segment of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. Walking Tall Read the blog by Victoria Looseleaf.
The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble, an accomplished and successful local company with over 20 years of performing in Los Angeles, is inviting participants to it's performance labs. The lab includes technique, improvisation, movement innovation, and individual skills. The design and architecture of movement in space is emphasized. Rudy Perez directs the lab with participation of current members of the ensemble, Tamsin Carlson, Anne Grimaldo, Jeff Grimaldo, and Sarah Swenson, who are all working choreographers. Mr. Perez has just received a Santa Monica Artist Fellowship Award with which he will both create a new work, and catalogue his archives which are housed at USC's Special Collections/Archives.
Are you a former member of The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble, Rudy Perez Dance Theater, or Rudy Perez Dance Company? Seeking names of past dancers and collaborators from 1964 onward, for inclusion on this website, and for the Rudy Perez archives in the USC Special Collections. Please email name, contact information, dates, and a paragraph about the works/projects you performed in or contributed to, to .
January 22 - 23, 2010
Perezian Geometry - In a celebration of the 80th birthday of post-modern dance icon Rudy Perez, present and former members of The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble gather to present new creative work in honor of the milestone. With choreography by with Anne & Jeff Grimaldo, Mona Jean Cedar, Tamsin Carlson, Sarah Swenson, Jamie Benson, and Brad Horwitz. Special remarks by Allegra Fuller Snyder. Ticket reservations and info at 310-315-1459 or buy online at Highways Performance Space. 8:30 PM.
October 23 - 24, 2009
Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble at Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts' 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Performing Open Suite/WHOOSH the Traffic with special guests Steve Mosier & the Liquid Skin Ensemble.
At All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N Euclid Avenue, Pasadena, 91101. 8 PM.
June 6, 2009
A Tribute to Rudy Perez - Luckman Fine Arts Complex Intimate Theater, at CSULA. The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble in the premiere of Surrender Dorothy!, in collaboration with composer Steve Mosier & the Liquid Skin Ensemble, with soprano Linda Brown and other guests. 8:30 PM. Information: 323/343-6600 Luckman Fine Arts
December 5 - 6, 2008Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble at Highways Performance Space, in Surrender, Dorothy! Special guests Steve Mosier & Liquid Skin Ensemble, with soprano Linda Brown. Ticket reservations and info at 310-315-1459 or buy online at Highways Performance Space. 8:30 PM.
May 10, 2008
The Luckman Fine Arts Complex screens Countdown: Reflections of a Life in Dance preceding a performance by Victor Quijada's Rubberbandance Group.
June 6 - July 19, 2007
Rudy Perez invited for a six week residency at American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina to teach and create a new commissioned work which was performed by ADF students: I Like a View, But I Like to Sit With My Back to It, soundscore by Michael Wall.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
At the Annual DRC Lester Horton Awards, The Rudy Perez Ensemble receives the The Los Angeles Milestone Dance Company Award - celebrating over 25 years of activity in Los Angeles.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The McCallum Theatre Institute of Palm Desert awards choreographer Rudy Perez with his second Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday November 11th, 2006. The Award was presented at the 9th Annual Choreography Festival Under the Stars, at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts, during the Professional Division competition.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach screens Countdown: Reflections of a Life in Dance at 3:00 PM. Screening followed by a Question and Answer period with the Producer, Severo Perez, the Director, Rachel Perez, and with Rudy Perez and Victor Quijada.
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Dance Camera West Festival screens Countdown: Reflections of a Life in Dance, the Rudy Perez documentary, at Disney's Redcat Theater, 5:00 PM. Victoria Looseleaf moderates the post-screening discussion.
Friday, May 19, 2006
California Institute of the Arts will bestow an Honorary Doctorate of Arts upon Rudy Perez at their 2006 Commencement Exercises.
Thursday, September 15 - Sunday, September 18, 2005
Latino New Works Festival
¡Que Viva La Evolution!
Thursday - Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 8:30 pm, $17
Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica. Reservations: (310) 315-1459.
Rudy Perez joins Luis Alfaro, Diane Rodriguez, Armando Molina, Ivonne Coll, Deadlee, Joe Hernandez-Kolski, and more. New performance, spoken word, dance, and interdisciplinary work that speaks to the evolution of LA's established and emerging Latino artists.
Saturday, September 3, 2005
Lula Washington mounts Rudy Perez's Shifts (2003) on the Lula Washington Dance Theater.
The Company premiered Shifts at LWDT's 25th anniversary production at the John Anson Ford Ampitheatre in Hollywood.
Thursday, July 21 - Saturday, July 23, 2005
Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble at the REDCAT Theater
New Original Works/NOW Festival
REDCAT/Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 W. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, California 90012
Performing DoublePlay revisited. The rich and multi-layered movement vocabulary that has made Rudy Perez one of the region's most respected dance pioneers is the driving force behind DoublePlay revisited, a large ensemble piece created in collaboration with company member Stefan Fabry, composer Jeff Boynton and dramaturge Strawn Bovee, who blend the writings of Gertrude Stein with Perez's dynamic movement.
July 10, 2005
Countdown: Reflections on a Life in Dance, the documentary on Rudy Perez's work, screened at the 2005 ADF International Festival of Film and Video Dance.
April 10, 2005
Rudy Perez receives the Lester Horton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dance Resource Center.
Lester Horton (1906-1953) was a pioneer in the genesis of American modern dance on the West Coast.
October 9, 2004
DoublePlay, a collaboration between Rudy Perez, protégé Stefan Fabry, composer Jeff Boynton and dramaturge Strawn Bovee, Commissioned by the Pasadena Arts Commission and performed at the Men's Gymnasium at Pasadena City College.