CONTRA-TIEMPO is a bold and multilingual Los Angeles based dance company, dedicated to transforming the world through dance. Founded and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez in 2005, our unique Urban Latin Dance Theater brings to life voices that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage, while building community, facilitating dialogue, and moving audiences to imagine what is possible. .
Our work is rooted in Salsa and Afro-Cuban and draws from Hip-Hop, urban and contemporary dance-theater. We create an invigorating blend of physically intense and socially astute performance that pushes the boundaries of Latin dance as an expressive cultural and contemporary form. We are taking Salsa back to its roots as a mode of expression for the struggles of the working class, and are therefore committed to making our high quality, professional performance work accessible for all, regardless of race or class. CONTRA-TIEMPO exists inside of and embodies the 'in between' space: leader/follower, immigrant/American, English/Spanish, performer/listener. We fully embrace that liminal experience as artists within communities, both on and off stage. CONTRA-TIEMPO is a rich tapestry of professional dancers and performers from varied styles, many of whom are immigrants or first generation North Americans, and exist within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that we address in our work.
Resident composer and co-founder, César Alvarez, 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 the original music he composes for 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.