“hard-hitting, hypnotizing” 

Heather Desaulniers/Critical Dance

Alma’s work turned the proposition of “political” into movement exploration that altered a sense of space and time – and by calling attention to our subjectivity (to our experience of self within an environment) this shifted what we know to be “true” or “real” or “valid”.  

Kate Mattingly/Baywatch

-Artist Statement-  I create structures that encourage conversation and energetic exchange between performer and viewer.  The work concerns itself with the female body, it’s personal narrative and the environment in which the dance inhabits. 


Alma Esperanza Cunningham started as a Ballet dancer and went on to study at Alvin Ailey.   Later she discovered and fell in love with the New York Downtown Dance scene.  Esperanza-Cunningham uses form to explore deeper questions about humanity and femininity.  

Her work has been presented in NYC by Movement Research, Dance Theater Workshop’s Fresh Tracks and Joyce Soho. After moving back to San Francisco from New York, she formed her company Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement and has been an Artist in Residence at ODC, Jon Sims and partnered with Robert Moses in CHIME (2005).  Alma was the recipient of a 2004 GOLDIE (SF Bay Guardian’s Outstanding Local Discovery) award.  In 2007, after giving birth to her daughter, she took a 5 year break (AKA artistic suicide) and returned in 2013 with a focus on making movement essays.



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