Exploring our current water situation and the archetypes, deities and classic literature connected to the liquid, the Los Angeles-based Contra-Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater company premieres “Agua Furiosa” at the Glorya Kaufman Theater at UCLA. Under the auspices of the Center for the Art of Performance, this evening-length work runs for eight performances Thursday, Jan. 14, through Sunday, Jan. 24, with the Thursday through Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.
Created by UCLA alumna and Contra-Tiempo Artistic Director Anna Maria Alvarez, the piece is a culmination of a multi-year investigation that included community-building events called “choreographic laboratories” that invited participants to share their own stories connected to the themes explored in the piece. These topics include race, exile, injustice, water, drought and upheaval. Initially presented near distinct Los Angeles-area bodies of water, the collected stories are based on the physical space where they were performed and are personal, local and universal.
The production includes contributions from live vocalist Pyeng Threadgill, sound designer d. Sabela Grimes, lighting designer Masha Tsimring, dramaturg Michael Garcés and costume designer Rosalida Medina. The movement is rooted in salsa and Afro-Cuban vernaculars, while it draws from hip-hop, urban dance and contemporary dance theater. William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is also listed as one of the work’s original building blocks.
For the past 10 years, the company has been sharing its work with audiences across the globe, refining its mixture of arts and community, contextual awareness and performance as a means of social change. It’s been awarded local, regional and national support for its endeavors, as it builds a multi-cultural inter-generational experience.
—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA
Glorya Kaufman Theater is located on the UCLA campus at 120 Westwood Plaza, LA 90095 (parking lot 4). Tickets are $15 to $29 and can be purchased at https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/90295/2133961/&brand=capucla&camefrom=cfc_ucla_ContraEDP. For more information, visit http://cap.ucla.edu/calendar/details/agua_furiosa.