For over forty years Rudy Perez has moved, invigorated and perplexed audiences. In the early 1960s he was hailed as a post-modern pioneer when he was a founding member of the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater in New York City. Today he lives in Los Angeles and defies definition as he continues to create provocative new work.
The documentary follows the fascinating give-and-take of the rehearsal of one of Rudy Perez’ signature dances, Countdown. Los Angeles-born and now Montreal-based Victor Quijada, a protégé of Rudy’s, has come to learn and perform the work. Throughout the rehearsal process, Rudy’s life and career are revealed through evocative home movies, experimental films and rare stock footage of New York. Interviews with dance critics, former dancers and collaborators give a context to Rudy’s impact on the East and West Coast dance scene. Archival videos showcase significant selections from Rudy’s extensive body of work. The documentary concludes with Victor Quijada in an emotionally charged performance of Countdown.
Rachel Perez-Bitan: Director. Rachel Perez-Bitan has directed several award-winning short films. She has studied dance with Bella Lewitsky, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Francisco Martinez, and Charles Edmondson.
Rudy Perez: A native New Yorker,Rudy Perez was a member of the Judson Dance Theatre, whose members included Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs, Trisha Brown, and others. In the early 1960's he performed his ground breaking solos, Countdown, and others, that helped to launch the post-modern dance movement. In 1970 he was commissioned to create a work for WGBH-TV Boston. District One was a predecessor to Dance For Camera, and later, Dance in America, on PBS. Since 1978 Mr. Perez has lived and worked in Los Angeles. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Lester Horton Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005, and an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree conferred by California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) in May 2006.
Victor Quijada: Victor graduated from the Los Angeles High School for the Arts. He was a member of the Rudy Perez Dance Ensemble when Twyla Tharp recruited him to join her company in New York. After five years with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, he joined Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He currently is the choreographer and Artistic Director of Rubberbanddance Group.