Dr. Perillo is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and affiliated faculty with the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He is also a co-founding member with Kumu Hailiʻōpua Baker and Prof. Maile Speetjens of the ‘Ahahui Noi’i No’eau ‘Ōiwi (ANNO) – Research Institute of Indigenous Performance and serves as Co-Director of the Center for Philippine Studies with Dr. Patricia Halagao.

He has taught at the University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, California State University Dominguez Hills, University of Illinois Chicago, and Cornell University.

His work as an interdisciplinary cultural studies scholar is grounded within the Indigenous Filipino concept of kapwa which translates imperfectly to ‘self-in-other’ and ‘together with the person’. In this way, he focuses on bridging Dance, Theatre, and Performance Studies with Critical Race, Ethnic, Feminist, and Indigenous Studies, while broadening the types of knowledge established within these fields.



Dr. Perillo earned his Ph.D. in Culture and Performance and Concentration in Asian American Studies at UCLA. He also holds a M.A. degree in American Studies and Graduate Certificate in International Cultural Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His intersectional and interdisciplinary research interests include dance and performance studies; race and racialization; Filipinx and transnational Asian American identities; popular culture and indigenous studies; (im)migration, gender, and sexuality; and queer of color and feminist theories and methodologies. He draws inspiration from legendary icons like Sylvia Rivera, Larry Itliong, Audre Lorde, Haunani-Kay Trask, and Naomi Klein. 


In 2022, his first book, Choreographing in Color: Filipinos, Hip-hop, and the Cultural Politics of Euphemism (Oxford UP) received the Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize Honorable Mention by the Dance Studies Association.


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.


His research has also received funding and support by the American Society for Theatre Research, Asian Cultural Council, Ford Foundation, US DOE International and Foreign Language Education, Fulbright Group Projects, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Association for Asian Studies-in-Asia, National Center for Institutional Diversity, and Fulbright-Hays Foundation.


In 2019, he received the campus-wide Teaching Recognition Program Award for teaching excellence at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was also a faculty fellow with the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP).


At UH Mānoa he serves as a Search Advocate to enhance diversity, validity, and equity in university faculty searches and selection. 


Dr. Perillo is a Fulbright scholar who utilized bilingual ethnography, choreographic analysis, and community engagement with over 80 key artists and organizers of Hip Hop for his new book, Choreographing in Color: Filipinos, Hip-hop, and the Cultural Politics of Euphemism (Oxford University Press 2020). The book is the first scholarly analysis of Black cultural expression in relation to Filipino racialization. His other research is featured in Amerasia JournalTheatre JournalInternational Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, Hip-hop(e): The Cultural Practice and Critical Pedagogy of International Hip-Hop, Dance Research Methodologies, and The SAGE Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies.