2014 Essay Courtesy of the authors
J. Lorenzo Perillo
J. Lorenzo Perillo is a son, brother, ninong, dance theorist, perfomer, researcher, and boardgame enthusiast. More than forty years ago, his father left Bicol University College of Education, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and blazed a trail for his parents, thirteen siblings, and four children. Lorenzo was born in Honolulu and raised in San Diego, where he spent much of his time rehearsing with the Mira Mesa Co-Ed and All-male dance teams. In the early 2000s, he was a member of Culture Shock, professional Hip Hop dance company and a non-profit organization dedicated to youth outreach. Culture Shock introduced him to the potentials of dance as community activism.
At Cornell University, Dr. Perillo is the Andrew W. Mellon Diversity Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Performing and Media Arts, and affiliated with the Asian American Studies and American Studies programs. He earned his PhD in Culture and Performance and Concentration in Asian American Studies at UCLA. He also holds a MA degree in American Studies and Graduate Certificate in International Cultural Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His research interests include Asian American Studies, Global Hip Hop studies, Dance Studies, Critical Race Theory, and postcolonialism. His current book project uses ethnography and choreographic analysis to explore the role of Hip Hop aesthetic practices in Filipino communities in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Dr. Perillo is featured in Theatre Journal, International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, and Hip-hop(e): The Cultural Practice and Critical Pedagogy of International Hip-Hop, and has received generous funding by the Asian Cultural Council, Ford Foundation, Fulbright Group Projects, and Fulbright-Hays. In 2011, as the first Fulbright scholar to research Hip Hop in Asia, he collaborated with faculty and dancers at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, and partnered with Akap Bata (embrace children), an advocacy organization for women and children. In 2013, his essay "'If I Were Not in Prison, I Would Not Be Famous': Discipline, Choreography, and Mimicry in the Philippines," was recognized by the Society of Dance History Scholars with the prestigious Gertrude Lippincott Award, an annual award for the best English-language article in Dance Studies. Dr. Perillo has taught courses at the University of California- Berkeley, University of Hawaii-Mānoa, California State University Dominguez Hills, and UCLA. At Cornell, he utilizes the Cornell Hip Hop Collection in his curriculum and teaches hybrid practice and theory courses entitled "Hip-hop, Dance, and Asian America" and "Choreographies of Race".
Johanna F. Almiron
- Born: Bronx, NY, USA
- Based: New York, NY, USA
- Also Based in: Honolulu, HI, USA