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“Luma” Lights up Cerritos Center Performing Arts Stage

Luma "lights" up Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Luma “lights” up Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

 By Glen Creason

It is rather hard to put the group Luma into a box since they are unique in many respects. They are some parts laser show, some parts electric spectacle, a hint of a juggling performance, some parts modern dance concert and other parts psychedelic/ rave experience for those who don’t go to raves or take drugs or even dance in big sweaty crowds for that matter. The idea behind Luma, as imagined and created by a guy named just “Marlin” is to use darkness as a blank canvas and paint the stage with every manifestation of created light one could imagine. Of course, this man-made illumination is inspired by the miracles of the solar system and some of the show is downright celestial.  Other parts are actually quite down to earth and even reveal a comedic element in the elements as they dance and flash across what seems like a larger than life venue.

The amazing part of the show is that, despite its grand scale it is performed by just six dancers who manage to give the illusion of dozens of hands at work on these images that come together and fall apart like magic. There are twenty-six segments which represent everything from lightening bugs to the bottom of the sea to fireworks to a lover’s quarrel.  Sometimes the effects caused oohs and ahs and throughout the sounds of kids crying out in amazement was heard, even above the throbbing techno sounds that accompanied the lights.  There was some early confusion when the initial segment contained only darkness and the crowd shifted uneasily but after several anxious minutes the electrons began firing and these same folks sometimes got lost in the lights.  The show is quite fascinating in parts where the audience gets lost in the movement and color but the second half was clearly the best when the pace accelerated and several kinds of illumination combined magically as in “Traffic Tango” that actually made some mouths hang open.

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