LUMA: Art in Darkness begins at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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LUMA: Art in Darkness begins at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

Autumn Whitney
awhitney@tahoedailytribune.com

Art and light collide in a kinetic presentation of illumination in LUMA: Art in Darkness, a four-week engagement coming to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa beginning Thursday, July 13.

“The show is literally a show about light — it’s not just a light show,” said Michael Marlin, who came up with the concept for LUMA, which has been running in venues across the globe since 1996.

Marlin found the idea for the show two decades ago, when he traveled to the desert with a friend and saw the Milky Way for the first time.

“I saw the stars and said, ‘My gosh, this goes by every night, but people don’t notice because so many lights are on,’” Marlin remembered. From there, the rest is history.

LUMA has changed much over the years, as technology has advanced rapidly in the 20 years that the show has been in existence. Marlin said much of the equipment used in today’s show was not invented when he began.

The performance thrives on contrast: Various lighting techniques including LED, lasers, electroluminescent wire, fluorescents and UV lights are set against a black backdrop as dancers and twirl sport athletes move about in a way that embodies the light’s energy.

“I continually add new works like any artist would. That’s the distinction I make between an entertainer and an artist: An entertainer does the same act over and over, but an artist can’t stand still. They don’t paint the same painting again.

“We’ve continually added new technology as it’s come out over the years — new disciplines, new pieces. This show has a whole bunch of new content we’ve never had before — new types of physical disciplines and new technology, new inventions,” Marlin noted.

Apart from the unique nature of the movement and equipment within the show itself, LUMA: Art in Darkness presents another one-of-a-kind feature: Blind people have been known to see it.

“I wasn’t aware of this until a couple years ago — a father said his son enjoyed the show, and I said, ‘That’s great!’ He replied, ‘No, you don’t understand — my son is blind.’

“With blind people, everything is blurry but they don’t lose the sensation of light. We’ve had people bring blind people to the show, and they enjoy it,” said Marlin.

One thing remains at LUMA’s heart: Raising awareness for keeping a pristine environment.

“I was making people aware of light pollution back in the ‘80s, and it’s one of these slow, creeping things. People don’t seem to notice it until all of a sudden you look up and can’t see the stars anymore,” Marlin explained. “The idea of the show is to create the same sense of awe and wonder that I had all those years ago when someone took me into the desert.”

LUMA: Art in Darkness begins at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa on Thursday, July 13, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 13. Tickets range from $20 to $25, plus tax and fees, and can be purchased online at http://www.montbleuresort.com. The show is family friendly and open to all ages.

Learn more about LUMA: Art in Darkness at http://www.lumatheater.com.


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