CONTRA-TIEMPO is a non-profit, Los Angeles based, activist dance company, founded and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez. CONTRA-TIEMPO is dedicated to transforming the world through dance. Their unique Urban Latin Dance Theater brings to life voices that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage. The company builds community, facilitates dialogue and moves youth to imagine what is possible in the world.
CONTRA-TIEMPO fuses Salsa, Afro-Cuban, contemporary urban and abstract dance theater, to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance work. While their performances are consistently electrifying, what sets the company apart most is its unique relationship to its own community. CONTRA-TIEMPO is, much like the community it reaches, a tapestry. CONTRA-TIEMPO is an active and uncompromisingly radical take on the ways in which artists function within communities. Its company members, professional dancers and artists, are also immigrants, teachers, activists, organizers and movers of all types living and working in Los Angeles. Each company member lives, expresses, and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that Ana María seeks to address in her work.
Resident composer, César Alvarez, who helped found the company in 2005, 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.
The company has several large-scale performance works, many shorter pieces, dance residency programs for youth, and master classes for all ages. Their repertory has been and continue to be presented in and around Los Angeles, New York, and beyond. CONTRA-TIEMPO’s work has been shared all over the United States and Latin America.
For teens and pre-teens, the company's programs address social, political and race issues through movement and through traditional cultural dance forms. For younger audiences the company focuses on using the body as a tool for communication and working together as a community. The company is dedicated to working with underserved populations of young people, in particular communities of color. CONTRA-TIEMPO creates dialogue and greater understanding across populations, in particular around issues of resistance and power. CONTRA-TIEMPO is committed to creating meaningful work that can be enjoyed by a broad range of audiences regardless of age, class or cultural background.
" The new face of Los Angeles dance, and the new voice as well." – Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times
“A performance that moves beyond just dance, but expresses with its movements the strength of the Latino community in their struggle as they live in a country that is not their own."
"Alvarez is a rising star of the dance world." - Leonard Jacobs. Backstage, NY, NY
" L.A - based company CONTRA-TIEMPO is making waves with its bold approach to teaching and performance." - Dance Teacher Magazine
• Ana Maria Alvarez - Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer
Ana Maria Alvarez begin dancing at the age of 5 and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts in addition to training with the Urban Bush Women, Cutumba, Narcisco Medina, Dr. Elenor Gwynn, Katherine Dunham, Vic Marks and David Rousseve among others. After receiving a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College, Alvarez moved to Brooklyn, NY where she became the Dance Specialist at The Center for Family Life’s “Lifelines” Community Arts Project. There she taught, danced and choreographed for several years before moving to Los Angeles in 2002. Alvarez received her MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. While in graduate school, Alvarez collaborated with teachers and researchers to create a dance program at UCLA Lab School, which became the foundation for CONTRA-TIEMPO’s arts education program. CONTRA-TIEMPO is currently partnering with schools throughout Southern California, integrating dance into the educational curriculum. She continues to guest lecture and teach at local colleges and universities in California including El Camino College, Pepperdine, Cabrillo College and Cal State Los Angeles in addition to UCLA. Alvarez has received numerous awards and recognition from the arts world and beyond, including Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s Artist in Progress Award, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters Emerging Leaders Institute, The LA City Council District 11, Durfee Foundation, Flourish Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Festival Internacional de Teatro de Los Angeles’ (FITLA) and Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico, among others. She is a three time grant recipient from the Center for Creative Innovation, a four time grant recipient from the National Association for Latino Arts and Cultures, four time LA Department of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residence grantee and was recently awarded a grant from the NEA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the last few years, Alvarez has been commissioned by Jamie Nichols’ Celebrate Dance, St. Joseph’s Ballet, CounterPULSE’s Performing Diaspora Festival and Cornerstone Theater. Recently, Alvarez was invited to speak at the DanceUSA Annual Conference in Washington DC, about “fusion and the use of traditional movement forms in contemporary dance.” This fall she was selected to represent Los Angeles Contemporary Dance at the Tanzmesse in Dusseldorf Germany, and the following month was invited back to Germany to participate in a choreographers lab called “Kindling” (through IPAY). She is currently developing a new body of work, which explores water; inspired by both personally and globally (Agua is the working title). It is the substance that the majority of our bodies and our world are made out of – the substance that connects us as human beings to our natural world and to ourselves. There is a scarcity in some places and an abundance, a flooding, in others. It is the next oil, the subject of much debate around ownership, health and power. Before birth we are immersed in liquid and then spend the rest of our lives striving and longing for that grace and connection that we barely remember and never completely forget. This work will debut in the Fall of 2014..
• Cesar Alvarez - Founding Member/Composer
César Alvarez is a New York-based composer, lyricist, performer and writer. His Civil War sci-fi musical Futurity premiered at American Repertory Theater in 2012 and was a co-commission of Walker Art Center. César's band, The Lisps, has released 4 albums and played hundreds of shows around the country since 2005. César is co-founder and resident composer of LA-based dance theater company CONTRA-TIEMPO. He has presented work at Lincoln Center, La MaMa, The Stone, Roulette, Dixon Place, The Tank, Joe’s Pub, HERE, The Zipper Factory, La MaMa, Dance New Amsterdam, Ars Nova, Walker Art Center, ASU Gammage, UCLA Royce Hall, Ford Amphitheater, RedCat, and CounterPulse, among others. Recent composition credits: Brecht's Good Person of Szechwan directed by Lear deBessonet (Foundry Theatre at LaMaMa); 3 2's; or AFAR by Mac Wellman (Dixon Place), Full Still Hungry for CONTRA-TIEMPO (Ford Amphitheater). César was a Meet The Composer/Van Lier Fellow in 2004. He received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and Master of Fine Arts from Bard College. César developing his new immersive electronic music theater work, The Universe is a Small Hat, as part of The Civilians 2012-13 R&D Group and the Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Program. He is a visiting artist in the Sarah Lawrence College Theater Program, a Visiting Lecturer on Dramatics at Harvard University, and writes about music and theater at www.MusicIsFreeNow.org.
• Bianca Blanco - Company Member/Teaching Artist
Bianca Blanco grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she discovered the love of dance at a young age in her first ballet class. She trained daily in ballet, jazz and modern dance. Her training continued at the Interlochen Arts Camp where it was solidified that there was no other path but to dance. Her first job was teaching dance as a young teen. After receiving a full scholarship to Western Michigan University she decided to pursue a BA in dance where she focused equally on ballet, jazz and modern dance and studied under and performed for such greats as Kathleen Hermsdorf, Donald McKayle and Derrick Evans. During her time at WMU she was also selected as a part of CRDT, a touring/performing/teaching ensemble, which traveled locally as well as internationally in Prague. It was also during this time that she was chosen to perform in many incredible works such as the legendary modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor's Three Epitaphs. In 2002 she felt the calling of her Latin roots, after so many years of classical training, and decided to move to Los Angeles to study salsa. She worked with many great salseros, toured nationally and won many salsa competitions. She has also continued her studies of partner dancing and is well versed in many valroom styles. Blanco has worked on many movies, commercials and television shows as a principal dancer including Along Came Polly, Luis, Dexter, Taco Bell and more. In addition to dancing another passion of Blanco is community service. Blanco is truly humbled to be a member of CONTRA-TIEMPO, which is an outlet for the classical training, the "sabor" of her roots and her passion for community. In 2011, Blanco launched her own company, Bella Savour, and creates delectable vegan food in order to bring awareness and accessibility to the benefits of a vegan diet.
• Company Member/Teaching Artist/Rehearsal Director/ Assistant Program Director for CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro
Jasmine was born in New York City and raised in Tampa, FL. At the age of 18, she discovered the world of dance. Burgos enrolled in her first Ballet class at the University of South Florida. It was only 3 years later that she booked her first job as a dancer for Grammy nominated & Dove Award winning artist Nicole C. Mullens. After touring the world in 2004, Burgos decided to pursue more opportunities in the entertainment capital, Los Angeles. In doing so, she has been blessed to dance and train amongst the best as a Debbie Reynolds Scholarship recipient. After her scholarship training, Burgos has danced for various artists, including our of Eden, NLT, Mexican sensations Marylin Fernandez and Huiecho Dominguez. She is currently performing with Breed Dance Company, CONTRA-TIEMPO, Sassy Minxx and KPA Fusion Dance Company. While perfoming with these amazing companies, Burgos has had the opportunity to teach all over the city, country and world, including Cuba. Burgos ultimate goal is to provide the community with quality dance training and share various forms of artistic expression with young people. She is extremely honored to be a part of CONTRA-TIEMPO, their mission and commitment to the community.
• Michael Butler - Company Member/ Associate Director of Communications and Partnerships
Michael Butler is a native of Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived most of his life. He started dancing at the age of six with the New York-based Dance Companies. While in Charleston, Butler became well known and recognized throughout the region for his prodigious artistic talent. After high school, Michael continued his dancing career and enrolled at Shaw's Model and Talent Agency in Columbia, SC. While there, he studied hip-hop, tap, ballet, acting and modeling. Butler attended Radford University in Virginia, where he studied Business Administration and Fine Arts. Butler was featured in the 2007 film Stomp the Yard with nationally acclaimed actors and hip-hop artists around the world. He later decided he wanted to share his gifts and talents with the world. Butler combined his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for dance and founded A Step In Time Dance Studio, Inc. In addition to dancing instructions, Butler envisioned a place where young people would also come to study, relax, and develop personally. His vision came to fruition as A Step In Time Dance Studio, Inc experienced phenomenal growth and enrollment located in Jacksonville, FL. 2010 Butler, transformed A Step In Time Dance Studio to a non-profit organization called “ D.O.I.T JAX. His goal is to create a place where privileged and underprivileged individuals, with hope for self-improvement, can develop a more C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E status. In 2009, Butler relocated to Los Angeles, CA, and landed a position with the nationally acclaimed Professional Urban Latin Dance Theater Company CONTRA-TIEMPO. For the past four years Michael has remained passionately devoted to CONTRA-TIEMPO. In 2011 Michael became the company’s Associate Director of Communications & Partnerships. Michael continues to derive artistic & financial inspiration from the likes of Alvin Ailey, Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Suzie Orman, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. Living with, and following, the instruction of good karma is what keeps success in his favor. "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome”- Booker T. Washington
• Tina Vasquez- New York Educational Liaison and Teaching Artist
Tina is a New York City/Rockland County native and a first generation American, born from Puerto Rican and Jamaican/Cuban parents. She is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School for Individualized Study as well as a Certified Movement Analyst. A super athletic child, Tina competed as a gymnast for 5 years introducing her to the world of dance. At 15, she was the youngest of 20 students accepted world wide to attend Jacobs Pillow's Modern Dance Traditions summer program. Since then, she has danced every possible moment of her life, taking her to study, teach, choreography and/or perform dance in New York, Texas, California, Cuba, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Guam and Columbia. She has had the privilege of learning from and working with original company members of Paul Taylor, Anna Sokolow, Martha Graham and LarLubervich, as well as David Parsons, Bill T Jones, Donald McKayle, Alvin Ailey's Milton Myers, Marta Renzi, Urban Bushwomen, Pepatian, DanceNow, INSPIRIT, BAAD, and Von Ussar Danceworks. In most recent years, her creative nature has grown to adapt a plethora of artistic expressions, not limited to but including fashion design and construction, painting, carving and glass art, for which she has studied and taught in Turkey. Also, her choreographic tendencies began to transform from shaping empty spaces with bodies to shaping young minds with artistic instruction. Through art and education, Vasquez found her niche, her career-home. As she began to expand her artistic thresh-hold, Vasquez also began to write art-based curricula with themes of social justice, community awareness and identity formation. Some of these curricula are being taught all over New York City through Good Shepherd Services. As an ally to community-based-organizations, Vasquez currently works with The Leadership Program as a Trainer, with Aryetos Performance Works as a curriculum writer and with CONTRA-TIEMPO as a Teaching Artist and Educational Liaison for New York. Tina's life goal is to advocate for young people's right to quality education that is relevant to them and to the world that they face, as well as their right to express themselves through that education.
• Cesar Garfiaz - Founding Company Member/Teaching Artist
Cesar was born and raised in Los Angeles , CA (Hollywood). He has been hyperactive since early childhood, and has always enjoyed moving. Being partly raised by his aunt, Garfiaz was influenced by her affinity for Salsa. He began dancing Salsa at the young age of seven, going on Sundays to Steven’s Steakhouse with his Tia Raquel. In high school, he was part of a performing arts class for two years, where he learned of his passion for performing. Garfiaz joined UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Cultures in the Fall of 2004. In the Spring of 2003, Garfiaz began working and collaborating with Ana Maria Alvarez and was a cast member of her original thesis concert “contra-tiempo”. Over the past seven years he has studied various styles including modern, hip hop, house, tai chi, Ghanaian, Mexican Folklorico & Afro-Cuban. As a part of UCLA’s Repertory Tour Ensemble, Cesar performed and inspired young people in high schools all over Los Angeles. Through his work with Rep Tour, he became passionate about youth arts education, and is continuing this important work with his involvement in CONTRA-TIEMPO. He currently teaches Salsa and Latin Dance at Cal Poly Pamona and at several studios around Los Angeles. As a founding member of the company, he is committed to seeing this group actualize its’ full potential as an agent for change. Garfiaz is dedicated to being a leader in this important work and sharing with others his absolute love for movement.
• Steve Flores- Company Member/ Apprentice Teaching Artist
Steve was born and raised in Boston, MA and is half Puerto Rican and half Ecuadorian. At a young age, he was exposed to and informally trained in street Salsa and hip-hop. Steve graduated in 2011 from Denison University with a BA in Economics and Religion. While in college, he was the President of La Fuerza Latina, Head Resident, and the founder and president of Denison’s first Latino Greek Organization; Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Although dance was not his major, he was an active participant in the university’s dance ensemble where he studied forms such as contemporary, African Jazz and performed in an production for traditional African Gumboot. It soon became apparent that dance was his calling. Upon graduation, Steve decided to follow his dream of performing, and moved to Los Angeles. In less than a year he was a featured dancer in two short films, cast in the musical NuBiah, and ensemble member for “No Particular Place to Go.” Steve auditioned for the company in the Winter of 2012, and that same summer he attended CONTRA-TIEMPO’s FUTURO SUMMER INTENSIVE program, where he studied and trained in various forms including the company’s signature style: Urban Latin Dance. Through his determination, hard work, and some intense training in Salsa with Raul Santiago, he was soon invited to join the company. Steve is excited to be a part of CONTRA-TIEMPO and is ready to dance, express and inspire!.
• Marina Osthoff Magalhães - Company Member/Teaching Artist/Rehearsal Director/Program Director for CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro
Marina Magalhães is a Brazilian-born dancer, choreographer and arts educator based in Los Angeles. Magalhães's work draws from her unique background in traditional Samba and Post-modern techniques to create dance theater that is both playful and powerful, contemporary and deeply rooted in tradition. As the daughter of Brazilian diplomats, her training has been as international as her up-bringing, and includes Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Summer Intensive (2005), Urban Bush Women Summer Institute (2008/2011), CONTRA-TIEMPO's Cuba Cultural Exchange (2008/09), Rennie Harris's Illadelph Hip Hop Festival (2010), Consciousness of Movement Program in Rio de Janeiro (2011), and the Center for Theater of the Oppressed's International Exchange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2012). In 2010 she graduated from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures, having received the prestigious 4-year International Moss Scholarship. She has had the pleasure of working with In/Ex Dance Project (2010), Victoria Marks in her newest work, Smallest Gesture Grandest Frame (2011), and of choreographing the pop musical phenomenon, Patty! The Revival (2012). Her personal work, excerpts of the series Crônicas of Power, has been shown throughout Los Angeles venues, including REDCAT Theater's Fall Studio (2010), Zipper Concert Hall (2011), Highways Performance Space (2011), and LA Live Arts (2011). She is a Founding Artistic Director of Soul Lab Dance Project, an all female dance collective committed to creating uniquely fresh and exciting art that is experimental, healing, and challenges people to rethink what they know about themselves, their communities, and the world.
• Bianca Golden, New York/Teaching Artist
Bianca Golden was born in New York City and raised in Miami, Florida. She Graduated from Marymount Manhattan College, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2009. Golden has taught in the Bronx, Harlem, Queens and Manhattan. She is the assistant director at West Side High for the Sports and Arts Leadership Academy, as well as an artist in residence for CONTRA-TIEMPO at Celia Cruz School of Music. Golden has had extensive dance training from the New World School for the Performing Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, Dance Theater of Harlem School, Alvin Ailey School and Miami Conservatory, where she was trained by world renowned teachers. She has also participated in community projects promoting peace, culture and education with SGI, a Buddhist lay organization. Golden choreographed various works over the years, including: “Peace Silencer” in 2004; “Let Go” and “Unending Times” in 2005; “Funk” in 2008 which was showcased in Florence, Italy; and "1 in 7" in 2009, a piece dedicated to sexually abused victims. Golden is currently working on a project entitled “Heal Me” which is about how young women transform themselves through the process of healing. She performed as a member of a Speak Easy Theatrical Dance Company, called “Sass N’ Betties", that performed in Guam. She is currently a member of a modern dance company based out of New York, “Von Ussar Dance Works” with whom she recently performed at the Joyce Theater in NYC for “Dancers Responding to Aids” as a guest company member and Summerstage New York. Golden envisions an integrated art community, where youth from all walks of life can come together, collaborate, synthesize ideas and create works with social consciousness.
• Diana Gonzalez-Morett- Operations Manager
Diana Gonzalez is originally from Verona, NJ, and is first generation Cuban-Mexican American. She graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting, from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City in 2010. Upon graduation, she was cast in EUREKA!, a children's theater production, and toured all over the United States, inspiring young people to engage creatively in mathematics. That same year Gonzalez began working with casting director Laura Stancyk, as a casting assistant and intern. A year later she moved to Los Angeles, California and immediately began interning with CONTRA-TIEMPO. Gonzalez interned for almost a year, and was offered the job as CONTRA-TIEMPO's Summer Arts Academy Parent Liaison and Coordinator. Her strong work ethic, passion for the company's mission and ability to speak Spanish made her an asset to CONTRA-TIEMPO's outreach work. After a summer of successful programming, she was invited to come on board as the company's full time Operations Manager. She has a passion for arts education and is excited to help forward the mission of CONTRA-TIEMPO.
• Maisha Morris- Company Member/Teaching Artist
Maisha Morris was born and raised in Odessa, Texas, and began dancing at the age of 5. For many years she toured and danced all over the country on the competition and convention circuits. Upon graduation, at the young age of 17, Morris travelled to Los Angeles for a summer intensive at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and was invited to stay and train at the studio on full scholarship. There her knowledge of dance exploded, as she trained Ballet, Dunham, West African and Flamenco to name just a few. Dancing as part of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy for three years gave Morris many incredible opportunities to perform, study and expand her craft. She danced with Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl and was selected to present lecture demonstrations at schools all over Los Angeles County. Later Morris attended Santa Monica College and was certified in Early Childhood Education. She was immediately hired at, The New School West, a wonderful Reggio based pre-school, where she was able to bring her love of dance to young people on a daily basis. In 2010, Morris was introduced to the work of CONTRA-TIEMPO as part of a free salsa class in Culver City, and she fell in love with both the company and with Salsa that day. After auditioning, Morris attended CONTRA-TIEMPO's Futuro Summer Intensive and was then invited to apprentice with the company. Less than a year later, Morris was invited to join the professional company. She feels so much gratitude and would like to thank CONTRA-TIEMPO for helping her to find herself and her voice through dance!
• Diana Toledo- Company Member/Apprentice Teaching Artist
Born and raised in Redondo Beach, California, Diana Toledo began her journey with dance informally. Learning hip hop on the streets of Compton, where her mother owned several businesses, she eventually joined a hip hop company out of Redondo Beach called eFunk, where she danced and performed for two years. When Toledo began high school, she was introduced to the world of Salsa through a Salsa club on campus and fell in love. By her sophomore year she was the President of Sabor de Salsa, the hip hop team, and the break dance team on campus and remained President of all three throughout her time at Redondo Union High School. Once Toledo graduated, she believed that her life as a dancer was over, as a Forensic Psychology major, until an elective Modern dance class made her realize that dance was her true passion. She made the life altering decision to become a Dance major and is now working towards her BFA. Toledo auditioned for CONTRA-TIEMPO in 2010 and became an apprentice for the company for the next 18 months training rigorously in all dance forms and participating in CONTRA-TIEMPO's Futuro Summer Intensive program for two consecutive years, after which Toledo was invited to join the professional company. She is proud to be a part of a dance company that is so much more than that. She feels inspired by what the future holds for her in this chapter of her career and where these opportunities will lead her.
• Samad Guerra - Company Member/Apprentice
Samad Guerra began performing at the age of five with "Children in Flight", an African-based percussion and dance assemble for children at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland, CA. There, he learned to play "djembe", "dundun", as well as dance the "gumboot" from South Africa. Shortly after, his godfather who mentored him in Jazz studies for nine years introduced him to the tenor saxophone. During this time, Guerra performed at venues throughout the Bay Area, including Yoshi’s Oakland with the Alameda High School Jazz band. He was also awarded California Arts Scholar after completing the rigorous California State Summer School for the Arts training program in 2004. While traveling to Cuba, Samad discovered his passion for Afro-Cuban dance and studied for a year under master artist Jose Francisco Barroso upon his return. In 2010, Samad moved to Los Angeles to pursue his B.A. in World Arts and Cultures with an emphasis in Dance, as well as a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education from UCLA. Through the department, he became introduced to the work of CONTRA-TIEMPO and after learning of their commitment to arts activism, arts education and performance; he knew he wanted to be involved with the company. In the summer of 2012, Guerra attended the CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro Summer Intensive for pre-professional dancers, and was invited to join the professional company soon after. Currently, Guerra is dancing full time with the company while also working to complete his B.A. through UCLA.
• Dawn M Comer- Chair/Board Member
Is a Business Strategy consultant for IBM Global Business Services, managing account sales and operations within the Consumer Products Industry. She has over 10 years consulting experience in change management, communications, and operations strategy for clients across multiple industries. As a consultant Dawn enjoys the daily challenges of addressing clients' most pressing business concerns. When not consulting, Dawn is dedicated to her combined passion for Performing Arts and Education. Dawn's love for dance began at a young age and later led her to pursue opportunities to join both the E. Gwynn Dancers of North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. Currently Dawn teaches and ministers Praise Dance with the youth of her church in Los Angeles, Is a mentor with Step up Women's Network, and a member of the National Advisory Council for a Better Chance. Dawn received her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, her MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, and an alumna of the Los Angeles African American Womens' Public Policy institute (LAAAWPPI)
• Jeff Dyll- Vice Chair/Board Member
Jeff is a marketing and sales representative for Viamedia with 13 years experience in the marketing and entertainment field. Producing and creating television commercial campaigns for businesses in the Greater Los Angeles area has kept him busy for the last 2 years. Cadillac, Hyundai, Toyota are just a few of the clients Jeff has created marketing campaigns for. He was brought to Los Angeles 3 years ago to market and launch a radio station, 100.3 The Sound. While there he played an important part in a weekly Sunday night show that featured artist Ziggy Marley, Tim Robbins, Jon Larraquette & Taylor Hicks to name a few. Before moving to Los Angeles Jeff resided in New York City where he work for WXRK radio station. K-ROCK, as it was known, allowed Jeff to feed this radio background. While at WXRK he assisted in creating station events with artists Stone Temple Pilots, Counting Crows & TOOL. Before he found himself behind the scenes, Jeff was on-air personality in Phoenix, AZ for 2 radio stations hosting a nightly music intensive program. He interviewed and hosted events with bands Sugar Ray, Dave Matthews Band, Fuel, Sublime & Blink 182 are just a few of the top acts he has worked with.
• Romie Morett Treasurer/Board Member
Romie Morett was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when she was eleven years old on the Vuelos de La Libertad or Freedom Flights Plan. Morett quickly learned English and excelled academically. She attended the University of Southern California with a full scholarship where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree with a Major in Accounting. Upon graduation she was hired as an Auditor for Hertz Rent a Car. She worked for twenty three years in the corporate world and her professional business experience includes auditing, accounting. After this, Morett chose a career move into logistics with Avon Products, Inc. where she spent six of her nine years there as Western Regional Logistics Manager. In 2005 Morett decided to leave the corporate world and began her career in real state. She is currently a private property estate manager for a diplomat. Her Cuban roots have always given her a passion for music and dance. This passion attracted her to CONTRA-TIEMPO's mission to transform the world through dance. Morett is invested in ensuring that every person has the opportunity to experience the magic unifying power of the arts. She sees her work with CONTRA-TIEMPO as a way to further this personal commitment.
• Michael Arlen- Secretary/Board Member
Michael has a long and successfully track record of participation on industry-related and charitable organizations. In 1998 he was the Chair of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles, and later served in that organization’s State Board for the maximum 2-term limit of 8 continuous years. He was also the Chair of Breathe LA, and has been active in the governance and management of nonprofits throughout the US. In 1982, Mr. Arlen founded Arlen Advertising, a full-service, integrated marketing firm in Los Angeles. During his 18 years at the helm, he opened and participated in the management of joint ventures in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, and Mexico City. Arlen Advertising was sold in October of 1999. Mr. Arlen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from U.C.L.A. and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. He resides in Mar Vista, California with his wife, Phebe and three children, Robert (17), Emily (14) and Mary (11).
• Tanya Finks -Board Member
Tanya Finks grew up in Riverside, California and moved to the Los Angeles area in 1991. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1998 at California State University, Los Angeles, and spent two years as a volunteer paraprofessional mental health counselor at Pasadena Mental Health Center. For the past 13 years, Tanya has worked for the Capital Group Companies, currently as an Administrative Coordinator in the money management department. Additionally, as a Love Consultant with Love Boutique Home Parties, and as a Dating and Relationship Coach, she works with individual clients as well as groups, inspiring and supporting them to experience an abundance of love in their lives, and to enjoy passionate, fulfilling love lives. An avid consumer of personal development, her passion is providing the encouragement, support and inspiration for others to live their best lives today. Tanya is single, but has enjoyed a 32-year love affair with the Los Angeles Lakers.
• Jonathan Lowe- Board Member
Jon is a strategic marketing and promotions professional with over ten years experience in creating dynamic and innovative campaigns for sports teams, live events, music artists and consumer products. Approaching his 7th year with sports and live event leader, AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group), Jonathan has created and executed marketing campaigns for its most prized assets in Los Angeles: STAPLES Center, The Los Angeles Kings and The Home Depot Center, (a $150M venue launched in 2003 that is home to the LA Galaxy). Two years ago, Jonathan shifted his role within AEG to focus on the Kings and currently serves as the Senior Director of Marketing and Promotions for the hockey club. Jonathan’s marketing campaigns and promotions have received regional and national recognition in media outlets including the LA Times, Daily News, Los Angeles Business Journal, Entertainment Tonight, E!News, ABC (Los Angeles), ESPN TV, FoxSports.com and SI.com. In addition, Jonathan has created marketing and promotions campaigns for The Los Angeles Lakers, Ten World Championship Boxing Events, Celine Dion’s Las Vegas Show A NEW DAY, The King Tut Exhibit at LACMA as well as national concert tours with Prince and Rod Stewart, just to name a few.
“represents the kind of socially aware contemporary work that only a few dance artists such as Bill T. Jones reliably provide…in heart, mind and soul this is the real thing!” - Los Angeles Times
“an edgy examination of ‘the complexity of resistance and struggle for Latinos in the United States’ and a joyous celebration of community” - San Francisco Bay Guardian
“more than a hip isolating dance ensemble…CONTRA-TIEMPO pushes boundaries” – The Washington Post
“Alvarez is a rising star of the dance world.” - Backstage, NYC
“…a fresh-faced, talented dance company from Los Angeles. Fantastic dancing abounds in this piece.” - nyctheatre.com
“A passionately delivered performance communicates the often antagonistic relationships that exist among Latino immigrants to America, as well as the nature of the greater struggles that they face in the new country.” - The Worldly, LA, CA
“Alvarez is a force to be reckoned with” - curtainup.com, NYC
“A joyous performance… comically explores the diversity of Salsa dancing, while also using the dance form to portray the thorny social and political issues facing Latinos in America today!” - BackStage, NYC
“an ensemble in which the women were as likely to lead as the men” – San Francisco Bay Guardian
“the new face of Los Angeles dance, the new voice as well…” – Los Angeles Times
“…un espectaculo que mas alla de ser solo danza expresa con sus movimientos la fuerza de la comunidad Latina en su lucha por vivir en un pais que no es el suyo.” - La Opinion, LA, CA
“a performance that goes beyond being just a dance, it expresses, with its movements, the strength of the Latino community in their struggle as they live in a country that is not their own.” - La Opinion LA, CA (translation)
“…a marvelously energetic and affecting work.” - BackStage, NYC