Episode 130 – Dance Dance Revelations: Filipinos and Hip Hop Dance with J. Lorenzo Perillo (Social Distance Series)

Dance off!  Dance crews and line dancers, dance fanatics, and dance contest watchers – gather around for another episode of TFAL as we discuss hip hop dancing and Filipinos’ proclivity towards the art form.  We reminisce about our abilities (or inabilities) to follow a dance routine, our love for dancing, and of course, Pilipino Cultural Nights (PCNs).  We also get into the nitty-gritty and take a look at hip hop dance through the lens of race, gender, and immigration.

In this episode, TFAL dives deep into dance and choreography as we talk to scholar, choreographer, and instructor, Dr. J. Lorenzo Perillo, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  He’s also a former PCN coordinator at UC Berkeley when Ryan was a young college student (Go Bears!).  In his new book, Choreographing in Color, we begin to discuss not just the craft of dance, but how participation and choreography in hip hop dancing is a window into Filipino and Filipino American cultural politics.

Listen as we engage questions such as: Are Filipinos just natural dancers and good mimics or are there deeper historical conditions that gave rise to this Filipino hip hop dance phenomenon?  How does dance shape Filipino dancers’ migration from the Philippines?  How do Filipino Americans express “Filipino-ness” through dance?  Most importantly, what are Joe’s favorite dance moves??

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.



Were you part of a dance crew?  Do you have aspirations to be on a dance contest?  What do you think about Filipinos’ place in hip hop dancing?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

To purchase a copy of Perillo’s Choreographing in Color, go to the Oxford University Press’s website here.  Use Discount Code:  AAFLYG6 for 30% OFF!!!

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