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Finding Aid for the Antony Balcena papers, 1974-2001
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Antony Balcena papers
    Date (inclusive): 1974-2001
    Collection number: 625
    Creator: Balcena, Antony, 1954-1995
    Extent: 16 boxes (8 linear ft)
    Abstract: Antony Galindo Balcena, a Mexican-American, was born in Lompoc, California in April 30, 1954 and died in Los Angeles, California in November 23, 1995. Antony Balcena, (also known as Tony Balcena) was an accomplished dancer, choreagrapher and Gay and AIDS activist. He was known for his unique choreographic style and, through his life, he created and performed intimate and controversial performances such as "Dudes" and "Shell of Flesh." This collection documents the life and work of Balcena as a choreographer, dancer, and Gay and AIDS activists.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Griffin, Michael, 2002.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Antony Balcena papers (Collection 625). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6075545 


    Antony Galindo Balcena, a Mexican-American, was born in Lompoc, California in April 30, 1954. Antony Balcena, (also known as Tony Balcena) was an accomplished dancer, choreagrapher and Gay and AIDS activist.
    Balcena started taking classes of dance at the Riverside Ballet Arts Theater, Riverside, California, in the early 1970s. In 1974 he decided to audition at the Juilliard School of Dancing and was accepted, and later earned his B.F.A. in 1977. He continued his studies and got a M.A. in Dance from UCLA in 1984 and a M.F.A. in Dance from the Arizona State University in 1992.
    Balcena began his dancing and choreographic career in New York City where he worked on and off Broadway. Balcena dancing style was influenced by the work of Daniel Lewis, who taught him the Limon technique. He worked with Daniel Lewis Dance Reportory Company from 1975 to 1981. Balcena's career covered dancing and bodybuilding. He worked as a professional bodybuilding coach for many years. From 1983 to 1990, he staged and choreographed several bodybuilding competions (Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, Mr. America and Mr. Universe).
    In the 1980s, Balcena returned to Los Angeles where he worked with Sarah Elgart and Co. (1982) as a dancer and eventually became Assistant Director. In 1989 and 1990 he participated in the Los Angeles Dance Kaleidoscope presenting several dancing productions (e.g. "Dudes"). During the 1990s he also choreographed several controversial works about AIDS (e.g. "Shell of Flesh," "AIDS! The Musical"). He also worked as assistant choreographer for films such as "Earth Girls Are Easy" and "Rented Lips."
    Balcena received several awards and honors during his career. In 1991, he won a choreographic award from the Nuevo L.A. Chicano Danceworks Festival, and a Award of Merit from the Juilliard School Alumni Association's Los Angeles chapter. He also worked for several years (1983-1993) as an instructor at Loyola Marymount University, Cal State University San Bernandino, and Plaza de La Raza, a Mexican cultural arts center. In 1994, he joined the Dance faculty at Arizona State University. He died in November 23, 1995 of complications resulting from AIDS.
    Different names used by or used for Balcena:
    • Anthony Balcena
    • Antony Balcena
    • Tony Balcena
    • Anthony Galindo Balcena

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes videotapes and audiotapes of Antony Balcena's choreographic work from the 1974 to 1995. It also consists of publications (novels and newspapers clippings), unpublished materials (theses and typed manuscripts), production materials (programs, flyers, postcard ads), photographs, and slides relating to the life and work of Antony Balcena. A variety of publicity materials (flyers, photographs) to promote his choreographic work supplement this collection.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection was originally arranged in boxes with books, typed manuscripts, photograohs and video and audiotapes without any apparent order. The series names were assigned by the processor. The collection was arranged in the following series:
    1. Publications (Books, Newspapers clippings)
    2. Unpublished Papers (Typed manuscripts, theses)
    3. Slides
    4. Photographs
    5. Videotapes (VHS, BR20 and BR30 tapes)
    6. Audiotapes (5" and 7" audiotapes)
    7. Production Papers (programs, flyers, postcards ads, publicity photographs)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Balcena, Antony, 1954-1995 --Archives.
    Mexican American dancers --United States --Archival resources.
    Choreographers --United States --Archival resources.