Ana Maria Alvarez
Ana Maria Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based choreographer, dancer, educator, and organizer whose work traverses the worlds of social dance, political activism, community organizing, and art-making. Her work is deeply inspired by her upbringing as a Cuban American raised primarily in the Southeastern United States by two labor union organizers and educators. She’s had the privilege of studying and shaping her movement palate with master artists such as Katherine Dunham, Idalberto Bandera Sidó (Ballet Folklórico Cutumba), Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Ann Cooper Albright, Julio Jean, and Dr. Eleanor Gwynn. She’s also traveled extensively throughout South America and the Caribbean to study, practice, and perform Tango and Afro-Cuban movement practices (specifically Timba, Rueda de Casino, Rumba, Comparsa and Gaga).
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Her thesis work, which explored “Latin Dance” (specifically Salsa) as a way to express social resistance within the US immigration battle, became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO. In 2005, she founded CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater to be a space where she could take on big social ideas on the concert stage, centering social dance forms and narratives of the African and Latin diasporas.