CONTRA-TIEMPO has been a life-changing organization. Their dedication to community building is immediately relevant in their dance performances and arts education programming, but is also apparent in how the staff and company members live their own lives. Every last member is compassionate, inspiring and positively textured. They are champions in their community and are continuously making progress through their inspiring work.
Contra-tiempo is a fine example of the work that needs to be coming out of all arts community. They tackle issues head on that need to be talked about. They are constantly growing their arts curriculum in schools by learning new methods and strategies and being consistently active on-stage with new repertoire while open to critique by holding Q&A sessions with communities they're engaged with. As a dancer and teacher artist, i have grown tremedously in my personal life by following the community based philosophy that we can transform the world through dance.
CONTRA-TIEMPO is in their 5th year working with my high school in the Bronx (NYC) as teaching artists and they have not only taught so many students to dance, but have also raised their levels of social awareness and artistic appreciation. I have known the company since it began, worked with them in many capacities over the years, and was so excited at the opportunity to bring them into the high school where I work. As dancers, they are skilled, beautiful, and fierce. When they teach my students, they help them learn the skills of dance and also of professionalism, respect, and dignity. They also expand their minds - three years ago when they first suggested that the boys could also partner with eachother there was a lot of laughing and today, many of the guys in the program love the chance to be partners in class and feel proud of how they can lead and follow with eachother. I intend to partner with, attend performances of, and work with CONTRA-TIEMPO for my entire life in as many ways as I can find.
I must say CONTRA-TIEMPO has played a major role in the way I think, live and work. This organization has taught me and extreme amount of integrity. I have learn to finish what I start and to remain focus. Through the company I was introduce to Salsa Casino Rueda. Its like the latin version of square dancing. The organization uses this form as a metaphor to teach compassionate partnership and community building. Through this experience I have learn how to be a passionate partner and when working together you can accomplish so much more. In addition to the mention things I have learned and gain. I am honor to be apart of a organization that represents voices that no heard and using dance and art education as a tool to transform the world.
I had the pleasure to intern with CONTRA-TIEMPO during the summer of 2009. Ana María's vision to empower the community through dance by using it as a platform for discussion of identity, history, and politics validated my studies beyond academia and pure activism. Ana María’s approach showed me that I could merge my passion for dance with my education. I no longer felt that I had to choose between doing what I love, making money, and using my degree. CONTRA-TIEMPO is an amazing company with beautifully choreographed performances and an investment in the community. Their art is not just aesthetically pleasing, it inspires hope.
I am the founding Artistic Director and also a Board Member, and the vision I originally had for this organization and our mission has exponentially grown thanks to the incredible creativity, hard work, commitment and pursuit of justice that our artists, staff and community all share. It is an inspiring place to work and an inspiring vision to be a part of! I would rather be here than anywhere else! Thank you CONTRA-TIEMPO!
I was completely entranced by CONTRA-TIEMPO's performance of Full Still Hungry at the Ford. Ana Maria's solo, and the entire show. I thought CT did an amazing job telling all of those stories and transitioning between all of the different points you were making about food justice. I was absolutely blown away and loved seeing them perform!
Contra-Tiempo has inspired children and adult audiences all over the world! I was a company member with Contra-Tiempo for 5 years and I have watched them grow into a company that empowers children to honor themselves and go after their dreams. Contra-Tiempo's world aware dance pieces move audiences, from New York, LA, North Carolina Puerto Rico, Cuba and more, to think about local and global issues. Contra-Tiempo connects communities through a powerfully unique and magical dance form that reminds us that we are one. - Sarah Culberson
Contra-Tiempo, an amazing company, has worked with 186th Street School for the past five years. They have transformed and inspired our students to embrace dance and diversity while having fun! Richie, our instructor, guided students to create, collaborate, and think critically as they played collaborative games and learned to dance "rueda." Students who were reluctant to dance or even hold hands with peers, gained tremendous confidence and respect for one another. The performance assembly was moving and thought-provoking. Students were excited to see their faces reflected in the multi-ethnic ensemble, "They look like me!" Each year the Open Class for parents has been a huge success. With proud parents video-taping and photographing their kids with great pride. Our funds for arts education have been cut 100% in the past few years, but thanks to Contra-Tiempo's generosity our students experienced and excelled both academically & artistically.