"Full Still Hungry" is the company's newest work, which premiered September 23, 2011 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. CONTRA-TIEMPO brings together Salsa, Afro-Cuban, urban and contemporary dance-theater, to create an invigorating blend of physically instense and politically astute performance work about food and consumption. Artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez states, " 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 evocative and electric movement approach with orginal music composed by resident composer, Cesar Alvarez, and is performed live with a six piece band, of all star musicians including the renowned Afro-Latin percussionist Bobby Matos and the lead singer of Quetzal, Martha Gonzalez. Whether you are devouring the fruit of Carmen's headpiece, indulging in Moros Y Cristianos (the Cuban version of black beans and rice), or tasting each performers' deeply personal connection to food and family, "Full Still Hungry" serves up a blend of both physical intensity with invigorating contemplations
What audiences are saying about "Full Still Hungry"
" I was blown away. The narrative (as expressed in words, music, movement, costumes, lighting) translated into some of the most powerful dance theater I haver experienced."
"I was impressed by the accessibility and total hybridization of dance, theater and music - all
working together to reach out and take hold of people's hearts"
" The work was distinctive, the company danced beautifully, the live music and stories were powerful. the space was magical"
" CONTRA-TIEMPO's Full Still Hungry is a master-work that combines emotionally charged choreography, sharp cultural commentary, and an unrelenting sense of humor"
FULL.STILL.HUNGRY is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation
and CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora Program. Special thanks to the Los Angeles
County Board of Supervisors for their continuing support of the John Anson Ford Theatres,
a County Regional Park operated by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
• "...represents the kind of socially aware contemporary work that only a few dance artists such as Bill T. Jones reliably provide."
- Los Angeles Times
"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. Parts of the piece were debuted in in Mexico as part of the Festival Internacional de Teatro de Los Angeles (FITLA). The first full performance of this work was debuted in Los Angeles at the Unknown Theater in July 2007. Between 2008-2010 the company performed the work in North Carolina, Georgia, New York, Washington D.C, Virginia, California, Washington DC, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Minnesota.
• "This signature piece is both an edgy examination of (what Alvarez has called) a look at the complexity of resistance and struggle for Latinos in the United States, and a joyous celebration of community" -The San Francisco Bay Guardian
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, salsa 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 sexualized 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. • "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."
- Katherine Paradero, Editor-in-Chief of The Worldly, LA, CA
The Duet is a piece about power. An audience favorite, it captures beautifully the humorous and sometimes frustrating opposition between fighting and giving in. The piece can be performed alone or as part of "Against the Times".
Alesia Young's choreography is set on the women of CONTRA-TIEMPO to create a beautiful tribute to the streghth and resilience of the women everywhere. This new collaboration is set to an original composition by Cesar Alvarez that uses traditional rhythms and sounds from Yemaya - the afro-cuban goddess of the ocean and the moon - the mother of all other deities. This piece was debuted at Highways Performance Space in February 2007 and is toured and performed as part of "I Dream America".
A work commissioned in 2008 by New Dance at Saint Joseph Ballet in Orange County - this piece is set on the MEN of CONTRA-TIEMPO and is a fierce display of the company's signature Urban Latin Dance Theater physicality and strength. Six men dance, crash, lift, fall, throw and explode the intersections and contradictions of manhood, survival and community within the context of war.
A work created for CELEBRATE DANCE 2008 - Produced by Jamie Nichols. This piece is a comic and grotesque commentary on the 'Plastic' facade of Salsa. A dance form that started as a voice for regular people and an expression of history, power and opinions, has been transformed into a de-politicized, hyper-sexual exaggeration of the Latino body.
Rhythmic and stylistic elements of carnaval, forró and samba inspire and infuse Brazilian-born choreographer Marina Magalhães' playfully critical exploration of power, struggle and Brazilian and American performance practices, set to the music of Caetano Veloso and Forró in the Dark and performed by CONTRA-TIEMPO company members.
An animated short about the joy of Salsa (by Omar Rodriguez). This July 2007, the final piece - which is a flirtatious quartet between a man and a woman on stage and a man and a woman on screen.
Sides/Lados is a movement and sonic exploration of the pushes and pulls that result from a bi-cultural identity and specifically a Cuban-American identity. Debuted at the Ninth International Electro-Acoustic Music Festival "Primavera en la Habana" in Havana, Cuba March 2002. The Alvarez duo uses their own mediums to collage and depict the conflict and harmony that comes out of a distinctly split cultural heritage. Link to an article about it : OBERLIN ONLINE