In Memoriam: Rudy Perez

Special Collections

Choreographer and pioneer of postmodern dance Rudy Perez passed away at age 93 in late September. Perez was known for minimal pieces like “Countdown” that brought a fine-grained and expressive precision to everyday movements like walking, sitting, or posing for photos.

The Los Angeles Times recently published an obituary that shares perspectives from a number of people who knew Perez well—and worked with him closely—about his life and influence on the L.A. dance scene after relocating from his native New York in 1978.

Perez’s dance company also created a memorial page where people can contribute their reminiscences and honor his many contributions to dance and the arts—including theater, performance art, and other movement traditions.

The USC Libraries acquired Perez’s archive in 2002 and collaborated with him on efforts to preserve the original video recordings of his signature performances and present a 2014 Visions and Voices event featuring a new piece—titled “Unperformable”—created by Perez and performed by his company.

You can explore Perez’s archive using a finding aid for his collection originally created by Rebecca Hirsch and Anna Clark during a NHPRC-supported project led by Melinda Hayes and subsequently updated by Jacqui Morin and Bo Doub.