Ana Maria Alvarez fights the patriarchy with creativity. The founding artistic director of Los Angeles dance company Contra-Tiempo will premiere her new work,
“We’re an urban Latin dance theater company. Our mission from day one has been about social justice and using dance as a tool to build a more powerfully expressed and clearly articulated community. We stand for a world where everyone’s voice is valued and heard,” says Alvarez, who spoke to New Times from L.A. while driving to vote.
In times when violence, hatred, and bigotry have become the norm, Alvarez proposes a different way to resist in her performance — not with anger, but with happiness. “The piece is about joy and justice, and about joy being a radical act. This desire to create a just world is in line with using joy as a social tool,” she says. “[joyUS justUS] is an homage to the sacred feminine. It’s about taking down the patriarchy coming from the perspective of celebrating the feminine.”
In light of President Trump’s proposals for birthright citizenship and other vitriolic rhetoric against immigrants, Alvarez says, it’s vital to acknowledge the contributions that immigrants, including those in her own family, have made to society.
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“The whole immigration conversation led by Trump is full of absurdity. Members of my own family were refugees, immigrants, and exiles from Cuba. There have been tremendous contributions to society from people who immigrated to the U.S.,” she says. “JoyUS
Alvarez believes dance and movement have the capacity to bring, as the title of her piece dictates, joy
“I think we need to get out of the didactic division. [We've] got to see each other as human beings… A week after the election is an intense time to bring [joyUS justUS] to Miami, but we’re really excited.”