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iLuminate's Feats Light Up One's Life

by Marilynn Larkin
July 15, 2013
New World Stages
340 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10019
Rarely do I come away from any event feeling like everything was just right. But that's exactly how I felt after iLuminate: Artist of Light at New York's New World Stages July 15. It was a show in which light, music and technology played key roles, but did not usurp the power of the performers.

The dancers clearly are versatile, moving seamlessly from hip hop to Latin to contemporary styles. Just as impressive was how they worked with the lights (and black light), providing additional dimensions to standard lifts, dips and breaking, and creating larger-than-life scenes. Morphing into creatures through the convergence of lighting and costume and their awareness of each other on stage, the dancers created something greater than themselves as individuals.

Importantly, while the "wow" factor clearly is a driver of the choreography, iLuminate does not fall into the trap of simply doing crowd-pleasing works. By presenting an array of styles, they are likely to introduce some audience members to dance beyond hip hop and salsa. This was especially welcome in a family-friendly show, where budding young dancers might be not only entertained, but inspired and motivated by what dance training might lead to.

The show was lean, at a little over an hour, and the pacing was perfect—short vignettes, loosely tied together, leaving no room for a break. About three-quarters of the way into it, I became aware that I had fully entered the iLuminate universe—carried away by the magic and shedding my role of spectator/critic. I simply enjoyed being there. After you've seen the dancers in costume at their live show or at www.iluminate.com, check out this YouTube video in which they perform in street clothes: youtube.com.

iLuminate: Artist of Light runs through October 13, 3013 at New World Stages. For more information visit newworldstages.com.
iLuminate, Artist of Light

iLuminate, Artist of Light

Photo © & courtesy of Charles Sykes

iLuminate, Artist of Light

iLuminate, Artist of Light

Photo © & courtesy of Charles Sykes

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