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A Tempo: Exploring Breast Cancer Through Music and Dance

When Linda Grenis was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the things that kept her going following surgery and through treatment was her yoga class. 

Two and a half years later, Grenis stands in tree pose on a yoga mat midstage with several dancers from Roxey Ballet, re-enacting that experience through music in an upcoming production of We Vs C: Personal Stories of Triumph, which weaves together the words, stories and emotions of 22 survivors through music, art and dance.

“That yoga teacher said to me, when she said you have to learn to love your breast cancer, she said, ‘What are the opportunities? What are the blessings?” said Grenis. “Who would have thought this would have been an opportunity, to be in a ballet and dancing in a song about yoga?”

With the support of a grant from New Music USA, Roxey Ballet, a contemporary ballet company based in Lambertville, NJ, teamed up with songwriting team Robert Maggio and Matthew Hardy, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, the Princeton YWCA’s Breast Cancer Resource Center and other organizations to create a dance based on the stories of breast cancer survivors.

A Tempo Host Rachel Katz, a 5-year breast cancer survivor, is one of the participants and brings listeners behind the scenes on her program this Saturday at 7 pm. The show explores the creation of the work, which will be performed June 3 and 4 at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, and how it has allowed the survivors to work through or revisit the cascade of emotions that come with such a diagnosis.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.