The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts packed a full house Wednesday night for the Luminaria Take Two event that combined music, dance, film, and other art forms in the Carlos Alvarez Theater and River Walk Plaza.
The Luminaria Take Two series featured the artwork and performances that were rained out from the original Luminaria held in November. Sarah Fisch, Luminaria media manager, said the night was about “reframing the performance space for dance, film and video.”
“Those mediums really suffered because of the rain so we decided on a more intimate venue for those performances in particular, which I think benefitted them really well,” Fisch said, adding that the theater setting was key in maintaining the audience’s focus the entire way through, something that may not have been as easy in a festival space.
Wednesday’s event was separated into two acts, the first taking place in the Carlos Alvarez Theater. A short video called “Bubbles” by Stuart Allen kicked the night off with playful imagery for a standing room-only audience, followed by a dance performance choreographed by Seme Jatib called “Media Naranja” or “Better Half.” The performance was a mixed media piece, telling the stories of three different couples on the video screen and highlighting the ups and downs of relationships through music and dance on stage.
“We’ve come to be very rational in our understanding of each other,” said one woman in the video of her relationship with her fiancé.
After “Media Naranja” was “Bonus Track,” a short film by interdisciplinary artist Liz Rodda, that created the sense of being inside of a car going through a car wash. However, it was the multi-faceted performance by New York-based dance troupe OUI DANSE that had all eyes glued to the stage all the way up to intermission.
Attendees trickled out of the theater and onto the River Walk Plaza where short films from the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as films by actor and filmmaker Richard Edson, were portrayed on the the Plaza’s outdoor video screen.
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The Plaza was also where visitors, young and old, gathered around an interactive art installation by architectural design firm Marmon Mok called ”Kaleidoscope,” which made the image of the viewer appear as though they were in a giant kaleidoscope, converting it into an ever-transforming pattern.
The second act of the night in the theater began with the premiere of filmmaker Ronnie Cramer‘s animated film “SA,” a visual tour of San Antonio made up of approximately four-thousand individual watercolor pantings. The night concluded with a colorful flamenco performance choreographed especially for Luminaria 2015 called “Quintascencia” by Austin-based troupe A’lante Flamenco.
The first event of the Luminaria Take Two series was held last Friday at the San Antonio Museum of Art and Wednesday night’s program was the last one. Considering the large turnout of each of them, Fisch said that Luminaria organizers are looking on the bright side of having had to reschedule the rained-out exhibitions and performances. It has opened the door for more opportunities.
“I think we’re learning a lot from doing these smaller events and learning how to host more year-round experimental performances and art,” she said. “I definitely see more of them in our future.”
*Top image: OUI DANSE, a New York-based dance troupe, was created in 2013 by choreographer Brice Mousset, a French artist based in New York City. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone