Jacob Montoya lost his grandmother to ovarian cancer and supported his uncle through treatment for colon cancer. What struck him most about both of them was the resilience with which they faced their disease.
These lasting impressions of his loved ones’ strength and determination helped inspire “Resilience,” the inaugural dance production of his new philanthropic company, the Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre (SCDT).
The company performs this Friday and Saturday night, Dec. 4-5 in the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre at Folsom High School at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds from the performances will go directly to UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center programs.
Montoya, who also serves as artistic director for Hawkins Contemporary Dance Company in Folsom, created SCDT to give back to his hometown community. The cancer center is the first recipient of the group’s philanthropy.
“I am so artistically fulfilled,” said Montoya, a nationally recognized, award-winning choreographer. “I wanted to give that back – not just by creating work I dreamed up, but creating work that would make a difference.”
Resilience is a 16-part contemporary dance production directed and choreographed by Montoya. It features 36 dancers, including 10 from the SCDT and 18 from Hawkins. Local singer Sara Logan will perform, as well. Hospital procedures and waiting room scenes are imagined in two of the pieces; in another, dancers don hospital gowns, later shed, to depict the idea that a disease does not define a person.
SCDT was launched by Montoya and a group of like-minded friends, including his partner and UC Davis Health System employee, Elio Gutierrez, who lost his father and grandmother to cancer.
“We have people around Sacramento who might not be aware of the important work that is being done here at our cancer center,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to go out there in the community and show them.”
Montoya said Kickstarter campaign funds will cover the troupe’s production expenses so that every penny received from ticket sales will come to the cancer center as a donation.
For tickets and information, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2463035
To learn more about SCDT, visit http://www.scdtheatre.org