Alabama Dance Council

 2017 Alabama Dance Festival Guest Company


Dance is the hidden language of the soul - Martha Graham

The Company

CONTRA-TIEMPO is a bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based dance company creating physically intense and politically astute performance work that moves audiences to imagine what is possible.

We create a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage.

While our performances are consistently electrifying, what sets the company apart most is our unique relationship to our own community. CONTRA-TIEMPO takes an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work. We intentionally engage diverse audiences, cultivate dancer leaders, and center stories not traditionally heard on the concert stage, using our engagement process to inform and continuously re-fuel our creative process, and vice-versa.

Much like the communities we reach, CONTRA-TIEMPO is itself a tapestry. Our company members are professional dancers, artists, immigrants, educators, activists, organizers, and movers of all types, living and working across Los Angeles and across the country. Each company member lives, expresses, and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that Artistic Director, Ana Maria Alvarez seeks to address in our work. 

The Artistic Director

Ana Maria Alvarez is a Cuban-American choreographer, born and raised in the Southern and Northeastern United States. After receiving a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College, Alvarez moved to Brooklyn, NY where she became the Dance Specialist at The Center for Family Lifeʼs “Lifelines” Community Arts Project. There she taught, danced and choreographed for several years before moving to Los Angeles in 2002.

Alvarez received her MFA in Choreography from UCLAʼs Department of World Arts and Cultures. She continues to guest lecture and teach at local colleges and universities in California including El Camino College, Pepperdine, Cabrillo College and Cal State Los Angeles in addition to UCLA.

Alvarez has received numerous awards and recognition from the arts world and beyond, including LA Opinion's Mujeres Destacadas, Brooklyn Arts Exchangeʼs Artist in Progress Award, Durfee Foundation ARC, Flourish Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Festival Internacional de Teatro de Los Angelesʼ (FITLA) and Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico, among others. She is a four time grant recipient from the Center for Creative Innovation, a four time grant recipient from the National Association for Latino Arts and Cultures, four time LA Department of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residence grantee and was awarded a grant from the NEA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the last few years, Alvarez has been commissioned by Jamie Nicholsʼ Celebrate Dance, St. Josephʼs Ballet (now the Wooden Floor), CounterPULSEʼs Performing Diaspora Festival. Alvarez recently worked with Cornerstone Theater Company and Homeboy Industries, choreographing for "Cafe Vida", the first play in the company's five year Hunger Cycle. She was selected to represent Los Angeles Contemporary Dance at the Tanzmesse in 2012, in Dusseldorf Germany, and the following month was invited back to Germany to participate in a choreographers lab called “Kindling” (through IPAY).

Watch on Vimeo

CONTRA-TIEMPO performs Agua Furiosa on January 28, 8:00 p.m., Samford University Wright Center.

Agua Furiosa, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and “Oya,” the Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, "reminds us that we must honor human rights and, earth’s most precious resource, water.” - LA Dance Review

Ana Maria Alvarez, Artistic Director of CONTRA-TIEMPO.