“joyUS justUS” is an evening length participatory Urban Latin Dance Theater experience that takes on joy as the ultimate expression of resistance. Whenever humans have survived immense hardship and injustice, prevailing with their humanity intact, the presence of joy or, the knowingness and celebration of our true beauty and power has always been at the root. “joyUS justUS” reclaims the dominant deficit based narrative of people of color in this country as being underprivileged, voiceless, powerless, and victimized, and flips it on its head by embodying stories of joy collected from communities of color in South Los Angeles. The stories shared in this work are personal truths about the power of hope, faith, and family, the strength of the villages that have raised our children and the wealth that lives in our collective histories of struggle and resistance.
These truths are embodied through the technically rigorous social dance forms that were born out of these experiences, that are at the root of our company’s Urban Latin Dance technique, and that are the physical embodiment of that most powerful, healing joy. Through the conversations with South LA communities, retelling their stories through movement on the concert stage, inviting audiences locally and nationally to actively participate in what they’re experiencing on the stage, and continuing to engage broader audiences in the telling of their own truths, we are creating spaces of joy and healing, allowing the collective “us” to feel more connected, loved, powerful, and alive.
Contra-Tiempo is a bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based dance company creating physically intense and politically astute performance work that moves audiences to imagine what is possible. Contra-Tiempo creates a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage. Contra-Tiempo takes an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work by intentionally engaging diverse audiences, cultivatating dancer leaders, and centering stories not traditionally heard on the concert stage. Contra-Tiempo is itself a tapestry, whose company members are professional dancers, artists, immigrants, educators, activists, organizers, and movers of all types, living and working across the country.