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‘Mythos:Pathos’ premiers for one-night-only performance at Oberon

“Mythos:Pathos” one-night-only performance on Thursday night marks the end of the Luminarium Dance Company’s newest full-length production.

Mount Holyoke College alumnae Merli Guerra and Kimberleigh Holman designed and choreographed the production, which incorporates visually intriguing lighting effects.

“Light is projected from the inside out rather than illuminating dancers with traditional stage lighting,” Holman said.

This new concept of the Luminarium Dance Company allows for an unusual visual experience that ties in well-known Greek mythological concepts such as Hubris and the Sirens. The central character consolidates all of the actions that the light induces as she “travels through this fantasy dance space and takes audience members on a journey,” Holman said.

Whereas the conventional lighting of most dances are projected onto a performer, “Mythos:Pathos” is unique in that it provides “a very visual spectacle,” Holman said.

This phenomenon comes to life in the individual stories that are depicted during the course of the show. One such story is the Andromeda piece. Guerra created this portion of the show and decided to present it in a particularly colorful manner.

“We wanted to allow the audience to experience it in a new way” Guerra said.

Guerra decided to chronicle the story from the end to the beginning. The myth follows the character’s journey of turning into a constellation, but in Guerra’s interpretation, she begins as a constellation and must rediscover this new part of her life.

One of the most important elements of the performance is solo dance. Guerra was careful to choose a dancer that she felt could convey her visual message precisely the way she envisioned it. In order to beautify certain visual elements of the show such that they were balanced with the intricacies of the lighting components, a Geo-Dome was incorporated and attached to the ribcage of the soloist.

The Geo-Dome consists of seven lights that are powered by a battery and computer system attached to the performer, Guerra said.

The main character allows the storytelling elements to cohesively flow as the ideas of Hubris and Icarus are presented within the Greek mythological elements.

“[The main character is] a blank slate that gets stories projected onto her as she tried them on for size,” Holman said.

Guerra’s background in modern, ballet and classical Indian dance allows her to visualize the hand and facial expressions that truly evoke the vibrant spirit of her production.  Luminarium has allowed her to pursue her passion for the visual arts on a larger scale.

Luminarium brings a sense of elegance to a story that can only be communicated through dance. However, it is the grand, unusual lighting effects of “Mythos:Pathos” that truly bring the story to life, making it a new brand of dance show.

The one-night-only performance of “Mythos:Pathos” will take place Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8:00 p.m. at Oberon theater in Harvard Square. 

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