A documentary about Into Sunlight, a moving work of original choreography by Robin Becker, associate professor of dance, premieres this weekend, Saturday, February 4, at 1 p.m. at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. The documentary, directed by Ron Honsa, is part of the 45th edition of the Dance on Camera Festival (DOCF) presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association.
DOCF is the longest-running dance film festival in the world, providing a platform for choreographic storytelling and creative expression, and intimate access to innovative media artists and their cinematic works.
Professor Becker’s creation of Into Sunlight was inspired by the award-winning book, They Marched Into Sunlight, by David Maraniss, a nonfiction account of two days in October 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War and antiwar protests. Becker says she 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.”
Professor Becker, who is also artistic director of Robin Becker Dance of NYC, has involved many Hofstra students and alumni in performances of Into Sunlight over the years. Among them have been Eddie Brito, Lisa Clementi, Chazz Fenner-McBride, Eileen Klugh, Nancy Louigene, Oisin Monaghan, Katherine Mayo, Nicole Sclafani, Julie Seal and Ricky Wenthen.
The dance and Professor Becker’s and Mr. Maraniss’ collaboration inspired a three-day interdisciplinary conference at Hofstra in 2011, Into Sunlight: The Impact of War and Violence on the Social Body, From the Vietnam Era to the Present.
Since its premiere at Hofstra, Professor Becker has brought Into Sunlight to a number of different stages. In the fall of 2015 there was a tour of Vietnam to commemorate the 20th anniversary of renewed diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States. Becker’s dance company performed Into Sunlight in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). They have also performed at Georgetown University; the 92nd Street Y; Stony Brook University’s Festival of the Moving Body; Florence Gould Hall in NYC; West Point Military Academy; and Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, where it was the focal point of an extensive residency. Into Sunlight was performed during a conference at the University of Wisconsin, a location that figures prominently in Mr. Mariniss’ book.