The company fuses Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and abstract dance-theater to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance.
CONTRA-TIEMPO is an urban Latin dance-theater company founded in 2005 by choreographer Ana María Alvarez. The company has toured internationally to Cuba and throughout the US, exercising its unique ability to engage audiences across typical social and cultural divides, and taking a progressive approach to the way in which artists function within communities.
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Ana Maria Alvarez is a Cuban-American choreographer raised in the US. She trained with Dr. Elenor Gwynn, Urban Bush Women, Cutumba Baile Foklorico de Santiago de Cuba, Narcisco Medina (La Habana), Katherine Dunham, Vic Marks, David Rousseve, and at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Alvarez received her MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, where she began deconstructing Salsa for the concert stage, and founded CONTRA-TIEMPO. Alvarez has received numerous awards, including Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s Artist in Progress Award, Mujeres Destacadas (La Opinion), Guest Choreographer for Festival Internacional de Teatro de Los Angeles’ (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. Alvarez has been commissioned by Jamie Nichols’ Celebrate Dance, St. Joseph’s Ballet, CounterPULSE’s Performing Diaspora Festival, and Cornerstone Theater. She was invited to speak at the DanceUSA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, about “fusion and the use of traditional movement forms in contemporary dance.” Alvarez was selected to represent Los Angeles Contemporary Dance at the Tanzmesse in Dusseldorf Germany, and the following month was invited back to Germany as the only North American to participate in a choreographers lab called “Kindling” (through IPAY).