CONTRA-TIEMPO is a non-profit, Los Angeles based, activist dance company, founded and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez. CONTRA-TIEMPO is dedicated to transforming the world through dance. Our unique Urban Latin Dance Theater brings to life voices that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage. We build community, facilitate dialogue and move youth to imagine what is possible in the world.
The company fuses Salsa, Afro-Cuban, West African, Hip-Hop, and abstract dance-theater, to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance. While their performances are consistently electrifying, what sets the company apart most is its unique relationship to its own community. CONTRA-TIEMPO is, much like the community it reaches, a tapestry. CONTRA-TIEMPO is an active and uncompromisingly radical take on the ways in which artists function within communities. Its company members, professional dancers and artists, are also immigrants, teachers, activists, organizers and movers of all types living and working in Los Angeles. Each member lives and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes, which Ana María seeks to address in her work.
Resident composer, César Alvarez, a founding member of the company, approaches the music for the group as if it were a new genre. CONTRA-TIEMPO's movement narrative calls for a complete rebuilding of "dance music" using a sonic vocabulary as far-reaching and diverse as the company members' backgrounds. In CONTRA-TIEMPO's performances César deconstructs salsa, collaging
Americana with hip-hop, poetry with clave, industrial and found sound with the powerful rhythmic traditions of the African Diaspora.
The company has several large-scale performance works, many shorter pieces, as well as community arts workshops for adults and young people that have been and continue to be presented in and around Los Angeles and abroad. CONTRA-TIEMPO's work has been shared all over California, New York, Washington D.C., North Carolina, Georgia, Washington State, Arizona, Mexico, Puerto Rico and most recently Cuba.
For teens and pre-teens, the company's workshops address social, political and race issues through movement and through traditional cultural dance forms. For younger audiences workshops focus on how the body can be used as a tool for communication. It is CONTRA-TIEMPO's interest to create work that can be meaningful and enjoyed by a broad range of audiences regardless of age, class, race or politics. The company is dedicated to working with under served populations of young people, in particular communities of color. CONTRA-TIEMPO's commitment is to create dialogue and greater understanding across populations, in particular around issues of resistance and power. By doing this, CONTRA-TIEMPO is contributing to the development of more self reflective, socially and politically engaged and culturally responsible artists and communities!
" The new face of Los Angeles dance, and the new voice as well." – Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times
"A performance that moves beyond just dance, but expresses with its movements the strength of the Latino community in their struggle as they live in a country that is not their own."
"Alvarez is a rising star of the dance world." - Leonard Jacobs. Backstage, NY, NY