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Art highlights experience of war veterans this week

Paul Monaghan, Yoko Fugimoto-Ikevawa, Chazz Fenner-McBride, Nicole Sclafani

Paul Monaghan, Yoko Fugimoto-Ikevawa, Chazz Fenner-McBride, Nicole Sclafani and Jessic Pulcini rehearse Hofstra University's upcoming "Into Sunlight" performance. Photo Credit: Lars Weber

Some view art as a mirror to society, reflecting – in no uncertain terms – truths that are more nuanced and perhaps, less palatable.

This week, Long Islanders have the unique opportunity to view these reflections in three different mediums – dance, theater and visual arts in Hempstead and Dix Hills.

Hofstra University dance professor Robin Becker responded to reading David Maraniss’ “They Marched Into Sunlight” – a nonfiction book about two days in 1967 during the throes of the Vietnam War and anti-war protests – by choreographing a dance.

The dance, “Into Sunlight,” features Hofstra dance students and members of Becker’s professional dance company, Robin Becker Dance. It will be performed throughout the week, as part of Hofstra’s three-day interdisciplinary conference on the impact of war and violence.

The conference – “The Impact of War on the Social Body, From the Vietnam Era to the Present” – features lectures, panel discussions and events held April 14-16. Note: Registration fees are $65, $50 (seniors and Nassau County residents), $35 (non-Hofstra students), free for veterans with military ID. Register on 10th floor of Hofstra’s Axinn Library.

Also featured at the conference is the theatrical work “Undeclared History,” directed by Cindy Rosenthal, professor of drama and dance. The script, written by co-founder of Oracle Theatre Isaac Rathbone, was crafted using the oral histories of Hofstra alums during the Vietnam era.

In Dix Hills, the Art League of Long Island extended its exhibition “Salute! Artwork by and in Honor of Long Island Veterans” through May 1 in the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery.

Work includes mixed media, oil paintings, pastels, pen and ink and sculptures by more than 10 artists, including WWII tail gunner Paul Pomeranz, Vietnam veterans Doug Broadhurst and Gregory Di Maria, along with Korean War veterans Ed Nussbaum and Mike Walsh, and others.

The show highlights the duality of war, with work by Pomeranz, who was “very interested in the details and the importance of air battles and bombing raids of WWII,” says the show’s curator and League board member, Pat Ralph. “That part of the exhibit reminds people of the huge casualties inflicted on both sides.”

Meanwhile, Ralph says other works are “more about camaraderie. The friendships and the loyalty of soldiers to one another,” like an image depicting soldiers with their arms around each another.

So what’s the takeaway for viewers? “It’s a show that celebrates the veterans,” says Ralph. “It does not celebrate war. It celebrates their sacrifice and their humility.”

“Into Sunlight”
WHEN/WHERE 8 p.m. April 14 and 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 16, 2 p.m. April 17, as part of Hofstra’s spring dance concert, at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, South Campus, Hempstead.
COST $12, $10 (seniors and non-Hofstra students) Note: A special free performance featuring an introduction by David Maraniss, will be held April 15 at 3 p.m.
INFO 516-463-6644 or

“Undeclared History”
WHEN/WHERE 8 p.m. April 14-16, 2 p.m. April 17, Black Box Theater in New Academic Building, South Campus, Hempstead.
COST $10, $8 (seniors and non-Hofstra students) Note: A special free performance will be held April 14 at 2:20 p.m.
INFO 516-463-6644 or

“Salute! Artwork by and in Honor of Long Island Veterans”
WHEN/WHERE 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery at the Art League of Long Island, 107 E. Deer Park Rd., Dix Hills.
COST Free (Donations encouraged and accepted).
INFO 631-462-5400 or

Photo: Paul Monaghan, Yoko Fugimoto-Ikevawa, Chazz <a href="/topics/Fenner">Fenner</a>-McBride, Nicole Sclafani and Jessic Pulcini rehearse <a href="/topics/Hofstra_University">Hofstra University</a>'s upcoming "Into Sunlight" performance.


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