Georgetown History Department and Davis Performing Arts Center present DC premiere of Robin Becker Dances Into Sunlight
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, Washington Post associate editor whose book “They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967″ inspired the dance work, gives introductions and post-show talk backs for both performances
Washington, DC — Acclaimed New York-based troupe Robin Becker Dance will perform the DC premiere of “Into Sunlight,” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss’s book “They Marched Into Sunlight,” a cultural history of war and protest set in 1967. The ensemble of 16 dancers will appear at Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre on Friday and Saturday, January 20 and 21, 2012 at 8 p.m. This timely work touches dimensions and effects of war on both those in battle and those at home desperately searching for peace. Choreographer Becker has been praised by the New York Times for her “eloquent simplicity” and by Backstage for her “original voice.” At both performances, author Maraniss will provide an introduction and participate in a post-show discussion with the artists and audience.
Presented by the Georgetown University Department of History and the Davis Performing Arts Center, the performances are also made possible through the support of Georgetown Institute for Global History, Georgetown College Americas Initiative, Georgetown University American Studies Program, Mortara Center for International Studies, GU Department of Performing Arts, and an anonymous patron.
Maraniss’s 2003 book, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in the nonfiction history category, encompasses one week in 1967, juxtaposing the ambush of an elite army unit in Vietnam with an anti-war protest against Dow Chemical that turned violent in Madison, WI.
“When I read David Maraniss’ powerful book on the Vietnam War, I immediately responded to the timelessness and universality of the themes and events he documented,” Becker says. “I was deeply moved by the integrity, honor, and commitment of both those who fought the war, and those who fought against it. I embarked upon the creation of this dance, ‘Into Sunlight,’ hoping that the universal language of the body would reflect and offer the same sense of healing that David’s words evoked in me.”
Georgetown University Department of History Associate Professor Katherine Benton-Cohen says, “Maraniss writes the most humane and honest histories I know. I have used his work in my classrooms for years, with stunning success. I am thrilled to bring his work to students and the DC community in a new artistic medium.” Davis Performing Arts Center Artistic Director and Theater and Performance Studies Program Professor Derek Goldman notes, “We are honored to be collaborating with Prof. Benton-Cohen and our colleagues in the History Department to host Robin Becker, David Maraniss, and this extraordinary multi-disciplinary performance work in the Davis Center. ‘Into Sunlight’ gloriously embodies our distinctive commitment to world-class performance that engages politics, history, and the pressing issues in our world.”
“Into Sunlight” premiered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in March 2011, then traveled to Hofstra University in April 2011, and served as the centerpiece of interdisciplinary conferences on war at both institutions.
Tickets to “Into Sunlight” are $18 for general admission and $10 for students and veterans. To purchase, visit http://performingarts.georgetown.edu or call (202) 687-ARTS (2787).
Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.
Artistic director, choreographer, and dancer Robin Becker was a principal dancer with the Eleo Pomare Dance Company, and also performed with the Martha Graham Ensemble, the Pearl Lang Dance Company, Los Angeles Dance Theatre, Zvi Gotheiner, and as a guest artist with the Denishawn Repertory Dancers. She has served on the faculties of American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, The Fiorello Laguardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City, the Princeton Ballet Society, and the Actor’s Studio. She is an accredited teacher of the Martha Graham Technique and is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University. As an authorized teacher of Continuum Movement, Ms. Becker offers workshops nationally and internationally.
In 1987, she founded Robin Becker Dance, which has enjoyed critical success with engagements at premiere New York dance institutions that include the Joyce Theater’s Altogether Different Series, the Harkness Dance Project’s Playhouse 91 series, the Fiorello Festival, and three seasons at St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery. Under her artistic direction, the Company has an extensive repertory of work inspired by Ms. Becker’s love of world traditions, Native American culture, poetry, visual art and music. Part of the Company’s mission includes bringing dance to a larger audience. The Company has been in residence at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, The Abode, a retreat center in upstate New York, and the Zenith Institute in Olivone, Switzerland. The Company has also participated in numerous educational and performance workshops in public schools throughout New England, as well as residencies in community centers including a workshop for women and girls at risk at the Westchester County Department of Corrections.
David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. In addition to his “Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports and Loss,” Maraniss is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling books, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; and Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World. He is also the author of The Clinton Enigma and coauthor of The Prince of Tennessee: Al Gore Meets His Fate and “Tell Newt to Shut Up!”
Maraniss won the Pulitzer for national reporting in 1993 for his newspaper coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, and was also part of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper’s coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. He has been a Pulitzer finalist three other times, including in the nonfiction history category for They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. He has won several other notable awards for achievements in journalism, including the George Polk Award, the Dirksen Prize for Congressional Reporting, the ASNE Laventhol Prize for Deadline Writing, the Hancock Prize for Financial Writing, the Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Frankfort Book Prize, the Eagleton Book Prize, the Ambassador Book Prize, and Latino Book Prize.His next book, Barack Obama: The Story, will be released in June 2012.
The Georgetown University Department of History is committed to integrating international scholarship and participatory teaching, and promotes History as a way to understand how the world’s diverse peoples have moved from distinct pasts toward an ever more integrated present. Its faculty and classes seek global reach, including strong focus on U.S. and European history, as well as on Russia and Eastern Europe; the Middle East, Arab, and Islamic domains; East Asia; Latin America and Africa. The department also offers growing emphases in the classroom and faculty scholarship on transnational history: the Atlantic World, the Pacific World, international diplomacy and cultural interactions, the environment, and comparative gender relations. In addition to the two undergraduate History majors — History in Georgetown College and International History in the School of Foreign Service —the Department offers a Master of Arts in Global, International, and Comparative History, and a Ph.D. in History, also taking a leading role in several international Masters programs: The Master of Science in Foreign Service, and the Master of Arts in German and European Studies, in Arab Studies, in Russian and East European Studies, and in Latin American Studies.
The Royden B. Davis, S.J. Performing Arts Center opened in November 2005 in the center of Georgetown University’s campus as the only building in Georgetown history designed specifically for arts education. The Center is the academic home to the Department of Performing Arts and features two theatre spaces: the proscenium Gonda Theatre and the black box Devine Studio Theatre. The Davis Performing Arts Center season unfolds in intimate dialogue with the Department’s curricular offerings. In addition to mainstage theater productions, the Department sponsors numerous music and dance performances, workshops, readings, master classes, symposia, and guest lectures, placing students from the entire Georgetown community in regular contact with leading professionals from the US and beyond.