West Chester, PA
BFA Class of 2021
Originally from West Chester, Pa., Matthew Perko grew up training at The Rock School West and Rock School for Dance Education. He studied various forms, including ballet, contemporary, jazz, musical theater and tap. Matthew supplemented his training with Alexandra Damiani, who was crucial in exposing him to concert dance practices and the choreographic voices of Hofesh Schecter, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke and Ohad Naharin. His curiosity to know more about concert dance and its intersectionality to other disciplines laid the groundwork for Matthew to attend the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Under Jodie Gates and William Forsythe, he delved deeper into classical, contemporary and vernacular aesthetics, and participated in numerous creative processes. Upon graduating, Matthew desires to join a contemporary ballet company to continue cultivating his artistry and technical capabilities. However, as his career progresses, he is interested in exploring other realms such as commercial dance and dance theater. Beyond stage performance, Matthew believes his training experiences enable him to give back to the emerging generations of dance artists through teaching and advisement. He crafted the Perko Dance Initiative as a resource for artists making the transition between high school and their next steps. The initiative serves to understand an individual student’s needs and aspirations while granting them unbiased information on the available pathways to bring them to their career goals. This form of mentorship provides guidance and in-depth knowledge of institutional offerings while ultimately giving the student a sense of agency over their future.
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