We Vs C —2017

WE vs C: Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors is a dance, music, art, and theater collaboration celebrating the lives of breast cancer survivors.

This healing arts project, in its premiere presentation, involved partnerships with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Foundation, D&R Greenway, Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, and the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Princeton. It is a song-cycle/ballet conceived and created by choreographer Mark Roxey with original songs from The C Word, by composer Robert Maggio and lyricist Matthew Hardy.

The project began in March 2016, when Mark Roxey participated in a discussion with administrative members of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Center of Princeton. The talk centered around how Roxey Ballet might collaborate with breast cancer survivors to help them regain confidence and a sense of their new bodies after surgery. In August 2016, the survivors told their stories at Roxey Ballet’s Canal Studio Theatre. Their stories were then translated into music, spoken words, and dance movements. The interviewees also participated in the creative process, and several of the women were selected to share the stage with the professional artists of Roxey Ballet as featured artists.

“I’m honored and touched to produce a project like this that celebrates the lives of Breast Cancer survivors and all who are facing the challenge of any kind of cancer”, says Mark Roxey, choreographer and executive artistic director of Roxey Ballet. “The art of dance is at its best when you are able to create meaning that transcends the art of dance, when you can do something much greater than the single word ‘dance’. That is what Roxey Ballet is all about”, he said.

The dancers of Roxey Ballet were accompanied by live music at the premiere, performed by singers Gina Milo, Desirée Rodriguez, and Aurelia Williams, with composer Robert Maggio at the piano, and pre-recorded instrumental tracks.