A splash of light will be shed at the Mesa Arts Center this month when Luma: Art in Darkness makes its Arizona debut.
The show features a cast of fire dancers, baton twirlers and a guest soloist juggler who returns to work with Luma after departing to join Cirque du Soleil. Luma has evolved during its 22 years and with this show, audiences can expect a variety of discipline, light and Luma’s first public performance involving fire.
“Our fascination for light never dies,” said Michael Marlin, whose wonderment of light in the dark led to his creation of Luma.
Marlin said the show’s message has always remained: We are losing our night skies and access to see the stars because of so much light. We forget the importance the dark plays.
Marlin’s passion brought him to a partnership with Lumican, a Canadian startup determined to provide light while the night sky can still be seen. The energy-efficient LEDs provide a wide amber glow without shielding the stars from sight or harming the human eye. A week prior to Luma’s show, Lumican will install dark sky fixtures in the Mesa Arts Center plaza.
Others have taken part in the preservation of the night sky. Tucson is home of the International Dark Sky Association, an organization that stresses dark sky education and enforcement of quality outdoor lighting ordinance to set an example for neighboring communities. Flagstaff enacted the world’s first outdoor lighting ordinance in 1958.
When Marlin founded Luma in 1996, he had every intention to bring awareness to the loss of night sky. He said the show has had such an impact that fans have driven hours to see it. Some have even relayed to him their memory of the show’s birth in Madison, Wisconsin.
“I’ve been working almost half my life to try and make a difference in the world to bring the heavens back into people’s lives so they can see the stars. That’s something I didn’t know was possible.”