Presented by Art Kinetica. Adelaide Fringe. Gluttony – La Petite Grande. February 14 – March 2, 2014.

Human bodies are remarkable things. How easily we take them for granted when putting them to the familiar uses of everyday life! At its best, Luminous reminds its viewers what kind of a spectacle can be made of the physical form when it is placed into an unusual context, and particularly when combined with the unique artistry that colour and music can provide.

The size of the venue necessitates an intimate feel to the experience, and when this works, it carries an intensity that serves the style of the performance well. With the small, talented troupe presenting themselves minus words but accompanied by a strong soundtrack of pre-recorded electronic music and effects, this is not your typical, quaint, old-fashioned circus. The marvels that new-fangled technological know-how can bring are combined with the old-school joy of painting and juggling and acrobatics – even an attempt to bring the video games of my generation’s childhood to life.

While the show isn’t quite a transcendent experience, it showcases visions and achievements that are certainly far removed from ordinary existence, and for that alone, one should be grateful. However, away from the thrilling highlights, and removed from the striking context of black light body art that makes Luminous stand out from the Fringe crowd, too many of the skills being showcased here are ultimately not far enough removed from your typical circus/sideshow act to make them as special as one feels they should be. Combined with what seemed, on the night witnessed, to be a surprising number of slip-ups, the spell was too easily (and too often) broken.

Nonetheless, Luminous is impressive enough to be worth a ticket and an hour of your time.

Anthony Vawser

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