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CONTRA-TIEMPO is dedicated to transforming the world through dance. One of our most effective and powerful tools is our dynamic work with youth. This school year, we worked with 26 schools throughout Los Angeles, New York and North Carolina.

There are numerous options including:
Several large-scale performance pieces with the entire company
Audience interaction and a Q & A with the company
Community arts workshops and master classes
Comprehensive, standards based residency programs
Professional development for educators
Lecture demonstrations

Downloadable Study-Guide HERE

In our shows, we use Salsa to intertwine our words, movements, video, and music to express the complexity of resistance and struggle for Latinos and communities of color in the U.S. Part of our mission is creating dialogue and greater understanding across populations, in particular around issues of resistance and power. We are dedicated to the growth and development of more self reflective and engaged young artists!

 We cater our workshop, master class or residency to your needs and interests as a unique learning community. We have an elementary, middle and high school curriculum, and have worked with K - 12th grade. In all of our work with youth we use Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Hip Hop  technique and dance

fundamentals, including the principles of leading and following,  improvising in pairs, groups, and small learning communities.  For younger students we work with concepts of independence, dependence and interdependence - exploring these concepts physically. In our technical workshops and residencies we pull from the Rueda (Cuban Salsa) and work with students around concepts of 'compassionate partnering' and movement metaphor.  In our choreographic workshops, students will create movement studies designed to engage and push audiences to  explore new ideas about dance partnering and working as community.

Core Competencies     
Communication, Critical Thinking and Information Competency, Problem-Solving, Global Awareness, Personal Responsibility and Professional Development, Physical Wellness, Health and Nutrition

CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater: Community Engage from CONTRA-TIEMPO on YouTube

You can choose one or both of our current touring pieces:
AGAINST THE TIMES. This piece has been toured all over Latin America and continues to be the company's signature work where the term Urban Latin Dance Theater was originally created! Salsa is a dance form that is rooted in Cuban and Puerto Rican cultural tradition. It is laden with social and political contradictions; a dance of resistance. Salsa is an improvisational form that is created and recreated with every new combination of people that dance it; a dance of change. Born from the fusion of African and Spanish musical influences, it was originally created as a cultural voice and form of expression for working class people; a dance of the times. Salsa has always been a patriarchal dance form, in that men are leaders and women are followers. In more recent times, the over the top, disempowering representations of women have gotten more extreme, especially in styles that have been popularized by ballroom dancing and Hollywood films. The cast of contra-tiempo will flip the script on who leads who... Together they will move resistance from being adversarial to being the fundamental key for communication and empowerment between partners and for a people.  (This piece is appropriate for all ages)

"I Dream America" is a 40-minute movement opera, which primarily seeks to engage the tensions, commonalities, strains and histories between the Black and Latino communities. Traversing the political landscape of immigration and Hurricane Katrina, "I Dream America" will investigate compassion and peace and paint a disarming and thought-provoking critique of contemporary life and injustice.  (This piece is appropriate for Middle School and High School audiences)

"Full Still Hungry" is the company's newest work exploring the politics of food and consumption in our culture. Artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez says “'Food is not just the material I put in my body to sustain life — but a web of relationships, histories, choices, decisions that all impact the world around us.” These complexities are brought to life through the company's unique fusion of Salsa, Afro-Cuban and contemporary dance theater. With an original sound score composed by Cesar Alvarez, live musical performances by world renowned percussionist Bobby Matos, poetry, stunning visuals and delicious movement, FULL.STILL.HUNGRY serves up a blend of both physical intensity with invigorating contemplation. The evening will also include collaborative guest performances by the all women a cappella chorus, Vox Femina, and by CONTRA-TIEMPO's pre-professional youth company, CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro.

Contact Michael Butler at mike@contra-tiempo.org for dates, prices and availability.

“What an incredible sight to see over 300 teenagers completely engaged for over and hour and a half! The choreography was brilliant, the dancing was incredible and your interaction with the students was exemplary.”   - Emily Mahon, Skirball Cultural Center

“Your pieces were provocative and an interruption of expectations regarding dance. As an immigrant myself, and a student of immigration themes, visions and communities, I am deeply grateful for your work.” –  Jacqueline Barrios Ramirez,  11th Grade Teacher

"The artist has the ability to take the viewer out of our comfort zone by experimenting with the unexpected and in this case it's the choreographer….The choreographer plays with our emotion causing us feel an array of feelings: compassion, disappointment, angry, fear….Ana Maria Alvarez uses the "give and take" motion of salsa, the symbolism of a rope, and over aggression leading to chaos to show the determination of a group all trying to reach the same goal." Excerpt from Explication Essay, 16 years old.

" The most "American" aspect of the play was the diversity! There were so many cultures, heritages, and elasticities entwined with each other, and that is what America really is: diverse. colorful." -Post performance comment, X.M., 16 years old.

“what you guys did today just changed my perspective on dancing and overall the world. I have to say its the best thing i've ever seen, thank you!” – J.M. 14 year old.

"What most impressed me with CONTRA-TIEMPO was their desire to connect authentically with community, both in workshops as well as in their stage performance. Our community knew that they were important to the company and, as a result, they came out to support their engagement at the Ordway."

-Shelley Quiala, Director of Arts Education and Engagement, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts


Elementary School Program

Middle School Program

Our master classes have been taught all over the world, and continue to be a way for us to share our work and our creative process more intimately with students of all ages and levels.  We have shared our master classes with  professional dancers in Cuba, with senior citizens in Culver City, with college students in Decatur, GA, and  hundreds of community members of all ages in the Bronx, among others.  We cater our workshops and master to the needs and interests of each unique learning community. In all of our teaching work we use Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Hip Hop  technique and dance fundamentals, including the principles of leading and following,  improvising in pairs, groups, and small learning communities. We pull from the Rueda (Cuban Salsa) and work with students around concepts of 'compassionate partnering' and movement metaphor.  In our choreographic workshops, students will create movement studies designed to engage and push audiences to  explore new ideas about dance partnering and working as community. Our work will leave participants inspired, productive, engaged, communicating better and with barriers broken down!

CONTRA-TIEMPO master classes and workshops are designed to:
Inspire participants to engage fully with one another
Break down barriers to create a more open organization/community
Align to a common goal, mission or vision.
Improve Communications through accurate feedback and the positive use of resistance
Accelerate Productivity by motivating staff and getting them to listen to each physically
Local classes by CT Artists


For PRIVATE LESSONS please contact Michael Butler at mike@contra-tiempo.org



CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro Dance Intensive is CONTRA-TIEMPO's ground-breaking program that trains young people (ages 13-25) in the company's unique dance activist approach. Designed for young people who are hungry to dance, the program provides rigorous training in the foundational forms of Urban Latin Dance Fusion and a visceral experience of the transformational power of dance. The two-week program includes 4 dance classes a day, evening and weekend outings with the company members, and culminates in a performance open to the public. All levels of experience are welcome! Apply early!

July 28,- August 8, 2014
M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages: 13-17 & 18 and older
Tuition $1000 or $600 for the 1st week only
(scholarships available upon application)

CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro located at:
New Roads School at The Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Arts and Educational Justice
in The Ann & Jerry Moss Theater
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Applications are still available - APPLY NOW!


contact jasmine@contra-tiempo.org to request scholarship applications and registrations forms.

Send all payments (checks made out to CONTRA-TIEMPO) and completed registration forms to:
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Or, pay online here and email your completed registration form to jasmine@contra-tiempo.org


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