Rudy Perez

Los Angeles


Man on ground surrounded by legs in tights.

Rudy Perez and dancers, circa 1975. Photo by Ken Papaleo

My beginnings were in New York, and having studied with Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Mary Anthony, and many others, my life took a big turn when I became a member of the Judson Church Movement in the early 1960s. Other members included Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs, and Trisha Brown, to name a few. It was during this time I created many of my early solos, such as Take Your Alligator with You, Coverage, and Countdown—the latter two were taken into the repertoire of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in the mid-1970s. I was resident artist in dance at Marymount Manhattan College (1968-1978), during which time I was part of the NEA Touring Program. In spring of 1978, I relocated to the West Coast (Los Angeles) with an invitation to be in residence at UCLA for a year.

Thirty-eight years later, because of the early support of the NEA choreography grants, I now have a body of over 40 works. My archive resides at USC Special Collections in Los Angeles and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in New York City. Most recently, a documentary was made of me entitled Countdown: Reflections on a Life in Dance. It was initial the support from the NEA that made this all and more, possible. Hurray for the NEA!