Ana Maria Alvarez is skilled dancer, prolific choreographer and masterful teaching artist who has achieved multiple accolades for her dynamic works. Alvarez received a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and a MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. There her thesis work explored the abstraction of “Latin Dance”, specifically Salsa, as a way to express social resistance within the US immigration battle and became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in 2005. Alvarez is a two time grantee of NEFA National Dance Project (2014, 2016), seven time grantee of National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, five time grantee of the Center for Creative Innovation and the recipient of the 2015 and 2017 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 in 2016 she earned a Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Rainbow Award for her work “Agua Furiosa”.
Alvarez was honored to be selected as the 2018 BiNational Artist in Residence, connecting cultural communities in the Sonoran Desert (Phoenix (US), Douglas (US), Tucson (US) and Agua Prieta (MX). Alvarez worked with artists, cultural workers, and students, leading artistic workshops, collaborative performances, and public talks, concluding with a performance at the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2012 Alvarez 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 theaters all over the country and world, including Lincoln Center (2009, 2018), House of Culture in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (2018), The Joyce Theater NY (2017), UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance (2016, 2017, 2018), The Music Center (Moves after Dark 2015), Arizona State University in Tempe (2016), The Ordway (2010, 2014), The Adrienne Arsht Center (2015, 2018), Dance Place (2008, 2010, 2016), NC State University Live (2016), Jacob's Pillow (2008) Teatro Favorito (Cuba 2009) and USC's Voices & Visions (2015) among others. Alvarez 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.
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. Their vision is to create, through the transformative power of dance, communities where all people are awakened to a sense of themselves as artists and social change agents who move through the world with compassion and confidence.
"joyUS justUS", her most recent evening length collaborative work was supported by NEFA/NDP and mapfund, and explores the questions: how is joy a radical act? What does it take to continue to practice joy in the face of tremendous struggle? How can joy generate and re-generate our capacity to create a more just and compassionate world?
Alvarez lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons (8 and 2 years old).