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Rudy Perez archive

Identifier: 0309

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Scope and Content

This collection documents the long career of Rudy Perez and includes correspondence, ephemera, programs, photographs, costumes, props, film and audio recordings and awards. Please see scope and content notes for indvidiual series for more information.


  • Creation: 1965 - 2020


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access. Consult finding aid for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Music Library at Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Music Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Note

Rudy Perez was born in Spanish Harlem and attended New York's High School of Music and Arts, where he studied piano and voice. After graduating, he studied dance under Martha Graham, Mary Anthony, and Merce Cunningham, and was a frequent performer at the Judson Dance Theatre. Perez founded the Rudy Perez Dance Theatre in 1967. From 1968-1978 Perez held the position of artist-in-residence at Marymount Manhattan College and trained as a dance therapist. During this period, his works started to take on a larger scale and he began using the term "performance art" to describe them. His company toured throughout the United States, Germany, and Canada.

In 1978, Perez took a position as a substitute teacher on the faculty of UCLA's Dance Department and in 1979 he moved permanently to the West Coast. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, the prestigious Irvine Fellowship in Dance, the Pasadena Arts Commission Grant, and Lester Horton Awards for Performance (1992) and Teaching (1997). The Los Angeles Music Center/Bilingual Foundation honored him in 1992 with the !Viva Los Artistas! Performing Arts Award for distinguished Latino artists. Perez was also on the dance faculty at Los Angeles High School for the Arts for ten years (1992-2002) and continues to teach classes at the West Side Academy of Dance in Santa Monica.


60 Linear Feet (62 boxes and 1 map case drawer)

Language of Materials



The Rudy Perez archive consists of the papers, clippings, programs, books, videos, costumes and photographs from the work of modern dance choreographer Rudy Perez (1929- ), currently based in Los Angeles.


Gift of Rudy Perez, March 26, 2002.

Related Archival Materials

Lewitzky Dance Company records, Collection no. 0203, Music Library, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Processing Information

The USC Libraries Special Collections unit transferred custody of the Rudy Perez archive to the USC Libraries Music Library on January 12, 2022. Most of the collection's box labels still list Special Collections as the holding repository.

Finding Aid for the Rudy Perez archive
Rebecca Hirsch and Anna Clark
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2012 September: Revised by Jacqueline Morin
  • 2020 February: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include accrual of additional audiovisual material and ephemera (housed in box no. 59).
  • 2020 October: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include accrual of textual materials and a DVD sent from Rudy Perez to Melinda Hayes (housed in box nos. 24 and 59).
  • 2021 November: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: created a new container record (listed under "Unprocessed material") after finding a previously undocumented box during Grand Archives stacks shelf-reading.
  • 2022 January: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include accrual of material (accrual no. 2022-001), housed in box no. 60. Bo Doub also transferred the collection record from the Special Collections repository to the Music Library repository.
  • 2022 February: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include an additional Betacam SP tape from accrual no. 2022-002.
  • 2022 May-July: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include material added to the collection from accrual nos. 2022-003 and 2022-004, housed in box nos. 60-62.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Music Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library, G-24
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1822 United States