Robin Becker, associate professor of dance, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of work she continues to do with her original choreography, Into Sunlight – based on the award-winning book by David Maraniss. The grant will support staff salaries and travel costs for the Into Sunlight Military/Veteran Touring Program and Robin Becker Dance will perform, facilitate post-performance discussions, and conduct movement workshops at military hospitals in the United States. The program will use dance to inspire dialogue, give voice, and offer hope to the military/veteran community and their families around issues of war and violence.
Last year, Professor Becker and her dance company toured Into Sunlight at venues in Vietnam to commemorate the 20th anniversary of renewed diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States. Becker’s dance company performed in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), sharing the stage with the Together Higher Dance Company of Hanoi.
The creation of Into Sunlight was inspired by Maraniss’ book They Marched Into Sunlight, a nonfiction account of two days in October 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War and antiwar protests. Becker responded “immediately to the timelessness and universality of the themes and events he documented.” She then embarked upon choreographing Into Sunlight, through which she hoped “the universal language of the body would reflect the sense of healing and peace that David’s words evoked in my heart.”