"The dancing was superb, the music outstanding and the message was potent, timely and positive." - LA Dance Chronicle
"It was beautifully danced, designed, and directed, and such a wonderful embodiment of community, joy, resilience, resistance, humanity, and hope." -Daria Yudacufski
Executive Director, USC Visions and Voice
”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.” -Miami New Times
“La pieza que traen a Miami en su segundo estreno mundial es joyUS justUS, y enfoca los temas del prejuicio racial y la justicia social para los inmigrantes latinos. El título quiere decir Alégranos, danos felicidad, danos justicia.”-El Nuevo Herald
“Contra-Tiempo’s new work joyUS justUS is exuberant, activist dance-theater.” -ArtsMeme
"Like Kahlo’s paintings, “She Who” conveyed vulnerability and power. It was a mighty and moving tribute to the artist who poured her heart out with paint." - LA Times
“This rich blend of intentions, along with Contra-Tiempo’s imaginative collaboration between music, song, sound, set, and costume, create a culturally inclusive theatrical medium representing a worldview that transcends boundaries of this post-post modern city of Los Angeles. The result is both personal and global.” - LA Dance Review
"CONTRA-TIEMPO's Agua Furiosa stirs up a maelstrom of issues" - Los Angeles Times
“a phantom rain seemed to fall over us all. A stage-crossing silhouette of one dancer walking on the backs of the others added an electrifying level change into the mix of images and physicality.” - Culture Spot LA
“Alvarez most wants the audience to take away is that we are all Caliban, in the sense of the “other.” - Emphasis Dance
“a unified whole that spoke deeply about issues related to colonialism, slavery, and environmental destruction...Agua Furiosa reminds us that we must honor human rights and, earth’s most precious resource, water" - LA Dance Review
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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. (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
"Beyond the physical attributes of the show, the work was multi-layered and carried such important messages—some of which were likely apparent to them, and some of which may not have been. But this is actually what we loved about it. It challenged them a bit—to think and to wonder. In other words, to do exactly what art is supposed to do for us! Whenever we present school programming, especially work that carries important social messages, we run the risk of “spoon feeding” those messages to the audience. This work was special because it invites young audiences to think for themselves and participate in interpreting the story.
The connections for those who had studied The Tempest were really important as well, and allowed the students to think about the dancers’ similarities (and differences) to Shakespeare's "Caliban" and the characters they encounter in their own lives who may also be labeled as 'sub-human.' "
-Denise Ringler (Appalachian State University)
From the first Caliban with the "I'm from here, we've been here"; that notion is something I think many of us struggle with, being 2nd or 3rd generation in this country and being privileged to be able to travel back and forth between two worlds, and at the same time having that privilege feel like a burden when we are confined to live in the space in between, when you can't "go back" because that "back" isn't yours to go back to.
The piece for the 2nd Caliban was even more heavy, I wanted to yell and scream to defend her, because she was my sister, my friends, my students, me; under attack like so many of us feel we are, but I couldn't. I mean, I suppose I could have because audience response is encouraged, but I was also afraid to do so. I've thought about that a lot, how so often we are afraid to speak out. In the end I think Ella wants us to speak out, to dance out, to let our lights shine without fear, and know that Ella nos apoyara.
Find full testimonials at : http://www.contra-tiempo.org/blog/2016/1/12/reactions-to-agua-furiosa