CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater: Moving Bodies, Owning the Floor

COURSE DATES: June 26 to July 9, 2017

  • This course is a total hybridization of dance, theatre, and music, all working together to reach out and take hold of people’s hearts.
  • Learn a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theatre.
  • Take an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work.
  • Create physically intense and politically astute performance work that moves audiences to imagine what is possible.
  • This course will culminate in a public performance of student work.

undergrad: DANCE 420/3 units
graduate: DANCE 620/3 units


Intermediate to advanced level dancers and movers. The course will accommodate a mixed level of movement practice. Students should be interested in issues of social justice and how dance is a tool for empowerment, community, and change.

1) Submit a letter of interest/intent and how the course is in alignment with your current dance practice. Include a letter of recommendation and photo or headshot.
2) Upload the materials listed in step one with your completed Registration Form by May 1, 2017.

Professor Gayle Fekete


CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance
Artistic Director: Ana Maria Alvarez

Founded and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez in 2005, their unique Urban Latin Dance Theater brings to life voices that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage. CONTRA-TIEMPO’s work is rooted in Salsa and Afro-Cuban and draws from Hip-Hop, urban and contemporary dance-theater. They 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. They 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. They 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.

Ana Maria Alvarez is a skilled dancer, prolific choreographer, and masterful teaching artist who has achieved multiple accolades for her dynamic works. Ana Maria received a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and a MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Her thesis work explored the abstraction of “Latin Dance,” specifically salsa, as a way to express social resistance within the United States immigration battle, and became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in 2005. Ana maria is a two-time grantee of NEFA National Dance Project, a six-time grantee of National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, a five-time grantee of the Center for Creative Innovation, and the recipient of the 2015 Engaging Dance Audiences Grant administered by DanceUSA. She has been awarded and recognized for her work including the prestigious Mujeres Destacadas Award in 2012 by LA Opinion, and most recently she earned a 2016 Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Rainbow Award for her work Agua Furiosa. In 2012 Ana Maria was invited by the LA DCA and American Dance Abroad, to represent Los Angeles and CONTRA-TIEMPO at the Internationale Tanzmesse, in Dusseldorf, Germany. Several months later she was invited back to Dusseldorf, to participate in a choreographers’ laboratory called Kindling/Fresh Tracks, where she began the creative work of Agua Furiosa. Her choreographic works have been presented in theatres all over the country and world, including UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (2016), The Music Center (Moves after Dark 2015), The Ordway (2010, 2014), The Adrienne Arsht Center (2015), Dance Place (2008, 2010, 2016), Lincoln Center (2009), NC State University Live (2016), Jacob’s Pillow (2008) Teatro Favorito (Cuba 2009) and USC’s Voices & Visions (2015) among others. Ana Maria and CONTRA-TIEMPO were also invited to represent the best of American Contemporary Dance Abroad through DanceMotionUSA, a program of BAM and the US Department of the State. Through DanceMotionUSA her work was shared throughout Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile.