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collage of photos of Arturo O'farrill smiling casually by Jen Rosenstein and Ana Maria Alvarez dancing happily in a blue flowing dress by Bobby Gordon

CONTRA-TIEMPO & Arturo O’Farrill


Arturo O’Farrill

Friday, March 31
8pm in Stewart Theatre

Post-show conversation to follow the performance (note: there is NO pre-show talk)
$30-$35 | $8 NC State Students | $15 Faculty/Staff

Note: Always purchase your tickets through our website. Tickets obtained from unauthorized online sources may be stolen, counterfeit or invalid. If you prefer to buy your tickets in person, the box office will be open one hour before showtime for cashless sales (subject to availability).You can also make an appointment with Ticket Central by emailing


Something truly special is in the works for our 50th anniversary. We’ve invited two of our most beloved artists to create a world premiere together: Ana Maria Alvarez, choreographer and artistic director of CONTRA-TIEMPO, and Afro Latin jazz composer and pianist Arturo O’Farrill. We sparked this collaboration between Arturo and Ana Maria because not only are they at the top of their game artistically with a throng of awards between them, they share our passion to connect with communities in meaningful ways. These artists exude generosity. They each have an innate ability to create and spread joy, to collectively imagine new possibilities for the future, and together they are electric.

Alvarez is known for her artistic rigor, her capacity to innovate and get down as a Salsera, her fluid improvisational skills and her ability to craft personal narrative through the body. O’Farrill is a prolific pianist, improviser, and Grammy-winning Afro Latin composer. Alvarez and O’Farrill share Afro-Cuban roots and a desire to be in compassionate conversation with those who think differently. In their new duet Togetherverse, the two prolific artists find a space to be bolder, more expansive and to understand new depths of their own practices of art and joy-making.

Enjoy two world premieres in one evening! Created in collaboration with NC State LIVE audience members, Togetherverse, danced by Ana Maria with Arturo on piano, will be performed alongside ¡Azúcar!, CONTRA-TIEMPO’s powerful new piece performed by the full company. With Celia Cruz’s music as inspiration and explosive salsa dancing, ¡Azúcar! explores our complex relationship with sugar and is a celebration of ancestral wisdom. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be the first to see and respond to two powerful new dance works in the intimacy of Stewart Theatre.

Ana Maria Alvarez is a “A legit choreographic wunderkind with technical skills and theoretical foundations anchored in deep humanity…”


Celebrated jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill has dedicated his life to envisioning a future of inclusion and collaboration.


About the World Premieres & Residency


In their first-ever collaboration, Togetherverse, Ana Maria Alvarez and Arturo O’Farrill invite us into the beautiful mysteries, loves, and grief held inside their inner worlds. This theater-not-theater-not dance-yet dance work investigates playfulness as the creative portal for our courage to admit, accept, and fully enact our hidden talents and obvious artistic capacities. 

The artists play, talk, improvise, move and bring it: weaving a fabric of stories and questions, imagining through their distinct but connected mediums, embracing and embodying their fears out loud, taking us on a wild ride rooted in their personal journeys and imagined futures.


CONTRA-TIEMPO moves into the future with a return to artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez’s Salsa roots. The work, performed by the full company alongside local salsa dancers, explores complicated truths about the history of sugar, and intergenerational healing through ancestral technologies rooted in community bonding and knowledge sharing.

With explosive salsa dancing and music inspired by Celia Cruz, ¡Azúcar!, is a joyful artivist community project, celebrating Afro-Latinx ancestral movement as a way to live our own liberation and affirm our shared future.

The Creative Residency

Ana Maria and Arturo were in residence with us from September 7 to 14, 2022 to finalize their new work. As part of the process, they engaged with hundreds of NC State students, and invited the community in to share their voices during a Choreographic Lab and two community dinners.

CONTRA-TIEMPO set a work on NC State dance students that will be featured on Panoramic’s dance concert this year.

Arturo and Ana Maria were also featured guest artists for the University Honors Forum where they were able to share their creative process and conversation with hundreds of NC State students.


NC State LIVE strives to make our programming accessible to everyone. If you have an access need or an accommodation request, please email Liza Green, associate director at Learn more about accessibility at NC State LIVE.

Protect the Pack

NC State LIVE is fully committed to the health and wellness of our campus, community and artists and will be following all public health and NC State University’s Community Standards as of the date of the event. This could include changes to capacity, attendance prerequisites and other protective measures. 

Face coverings are not required inside our theatres. Although face coverings are not required, you are encouraged to wear them if you feel more comfortable or safer doing so. In addition, Stewart Theatre has a state-of-the-art UV filtration system, extra hand sanitizing stations and paperless ticketing. In the event that a performance is cancelled, all tickets will be fully refunded.