Artist Spotlight: Pieter Parking Space

Please join us in welcoming our second Pieter Parking Space Artist-in-Residence: Ana María Alvarez!

Ana María Alvarez
, a 2020 Doris Duke Artist and an inaugural Dance/USA Artist Fellow, is a prolific choreographer, skilled dancer, masterful teaching artist, and movement activist who has achieved multiple accolades for her dynamic works. Alvarez was born and raised in the South, is the daughter of a Cuban union organizer and southern labor union activist and filmmaker, a red-diaper baby, part of the adoption constellation, a life long Salsera and student of Dunham and newly inspired by and involved in transformative justice, Responsive Body practice and capoeira. 

Alvarez was honored to be selected as the 2018 BiNational Artist in Residence, connecting cultural communities in the Sonoran Desert. Alvarez and CONTRA-TIEMPO were also invited for multiple tours in Central and South America, as cultural ambassadors through the US State Department. Alvarez received a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and an MFA in Choreography from UCLA. Her thesis work exploring the abstraction of Latin dance, specifically Salsa and Rueda de Casino, as a way to express social resistance as related to the U.S. immigration battle, became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater in 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. She recently completed two new commissions by USC’s Art and Action and The Getty Center over the pandemic and has discovered a new love for movement films. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.


Residency Intention

During the pandemic Alvarez was deep in the trenches of mothering and homeschooling her two children (ages 10 and 5) while also working to continue to keep CONTRA-TIEMPO alive with more than 80% of their budget gone. In response to the moment, the collective of artists continued to meet weekly from across the country, support each other, laugh, cry and deepened their work of understanding, articulating and living their values. In the last few months, since her children went back to school, Alvarez has committed to a bi weekly capoeira practice and started rehearsing, touring and performing live again with CONTRA-TIEMPO. She is now in the beginning stages of several new works including a work for the company called Azucar and several smaller solo and duet projects.

This residency and the opportunity to have 6 weeks of open, outdoor rehearsal space with no performance or production requirement is a gift. Her plan is to engage in a physical movement practice several times a week, getting to know her body again independent from her role as a 24/7 caretaker. She will begin work on some of the movement vocabulary and phrase work of these new projects and re-member and reconnect to movement as the healing and empowerment ritual it has been for the last 4 decades.