LUMA leaves your body in the dark and takes you out of your mind. Step to the precipice of your imagination. Take the giant leap into a surreal world of light, color and motion where thinking stops and astonishment begins.
LUMA uses the dark as a canvas and light as the brush to paint a story of how light occurs to humanity. Standing on a lava flow on the ‘edge of the earth’, Marlin, the show’s founder, had an epiphany that all life is drawn to light. Like deer to headlights, a moth to a flame, a seed to the sun, we humans are inextricably pulled to the light. We all have a memory of playing with a flashlight under the covers, waving a sparkler, gazing at the lights on our birthday cakes, and this fascination never ends –even after we have grown up.
Blending various physical disciplines with hi-tech luminous objects, LUMA creates a ‘TechnoCircus’ that is born in the shadows and has audiences sitting on the edge of their seats with googly eyes and slack jaws. The viewer experiences artistic depictions of natural, artificial and metaphysical light. Fireflies dance, shooting starts flash across a darkened stage, screen savers undulate, carnival rides spin and EKG monitors pulse the heart beat of the body electric.
ART IN DARKNESS
LUMA Theater is an exhilarating light spectacle that captures the audiences’ imaginations by using the dark as the canvas and light as the brush to create colorful illusions by combining rhythmic gymnastics, dance, magic, puppetry, and physics with well-coordinated motion. It is an experience that will leave you mesmerized and full of wonder.
“Art in Darkness” is the first all-female cast in LUMA’s long history, featuring Melissa Staroszik, Canada’s rhythmic gymnastics champion and 7 talented and beautiful dancers.
The show has been seen in 15 countries and taps into the universal draw that all living things have towards light.
THE HISTORY OF IT ALL
In the early eighties Michael Marlin, was working in Las Vegas as a comic/juggler and took a friend of his on a camping trip into the Arizona desert. That night the marvels of the Milky Way unfolded for his friend, who had never seen it growing up in the vicinity of New York City. Marlin witnessed the impact of the stars and in a moment of play picked up a burning branch from the fire pit and brandished it about creating a storm of sparks that rose to meet the night sky. That started it all.
Marlin’s first work was a piece that spoke to our loss of the night sky through our overuse of artificial lighting. Starlight which had traveled across the universe, traveling millions of light years, was being drowned out at the finish line by our city lights. The irony was thick because people wanted to chase away the dark and instead they chased away the lights.
FLASHBACK TO THE 70’S
Marlin ran away with the circus and spent a year tending a herd of six elephants at age 18. By age 19, Marlin started performing professionally and made his living solely on his work as a street juggler in Houston, Texas.
Attending an audition he landed a place in the class of 1976 and attended Ringling’s Clown College as an assistant teacher and student. From there Marlin toured the eastern seaboard with a Belly Dance Troupe performing for military bases and fraternal orders.
In 1977 Marlin made his first nationally televised appearance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and was introduced with, “We here at Rock Concert believe that our next performer will do for juggling what Doug Henning did for magic.” Six months later Marlin was touring with Doug as the support act and was signed by a major Hollywood agency.
In 1978 he was scheduled to perform on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson but fate had another plan as Marlin was, “bumped” by a Buffalo Chip and never go rescheduled. Marlin performed his one man comic/juggling show at over 350 universities in 35 states, headlined comedy clubs from LA to Atlanta, opened for a number of stars, created a series of award winning television commercials, was seen on national television in Holland, Spain, France, England and North America, but the brass ring eluded his grasp.
“It is a hard thing to walk away from what you are good at, but I was going nowhere.” Before leaving his home in Los Angeles he sold most of his belongings and moved to Hawaii and helped a collective of jugglers form a community.
By 1987, he became a “Castaway” from the entertainment industry and the fast lane of LA by moving to the Big Island of Hawaii and living in an ‘off the grid’ tree house of his own making. It was an extreme contrast. The lights at night came from only the stars, the moon or the glowing volcano illuminating the horizon. Forays out onto lava flows to witness the power of the planet close up became a portal to the present for Marlin. From 1991 to 1994 the work was entitled, “Laughing in the Light/Dancing in the Dark” and consisted of Marlin’s comic juggling work in the first half and his newly explored work in the dark in the second half. In 1995 Marlin took the summer off to complete his book, “The Contemplative Navel” a collection of illustrations and philosophical funnies.
Word spread and Jules Fisher (8 time Tony Winner for Lighting Design) invited Marlin to perform at his Broadway Lighting Master Class. He said, “LUMA has a lyrical mysticism that connects you with your own creativity-and it is always entertaining.”
Since 1999 the show has appeared in theaters from California to Florida with shows in Japan, Italy, Scotland, Holland, India, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
If you are drawn to the light of LUMA you will enjoy what goes on in the imagination of it’s creator. Have a de-light-ful experience by visiting mindofmarlin.com.