By Steve Raymond
News Report Staff
A show done in the dark.
Dancers in electrified glow-in-the-dark suits.
A combination of music, art, illusions, choreography and, yes, a love story.
That’s what iLuminate (pronounced Eye-Luminate) will bring to the Effingham Performance Center stage on Friday, Oct. 6. The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
“This show definitely has that wow factor,” said Lisa Bauford, who plays Starlight Jones in the performance. “You never know what’s going to happen next.”
Bauford, 33, is the show’s Dance Captain and one of the choreographers. She has toured with iLuminate for more than five years, starting after the group placed third in the 2011 America’s Got Talent contest.
“AGT was definitely the big break we needed,” Bauford admitted.
But it almost didn’t happen.
Miral Kotb, the founder and creator of the group, was hesitant to sign up.
“She was afraid the group would be laughed off the stage,” Bauford explained. “But the dancers believed in what she was doing and pushed her. It was the best decision of her life. The group has traveled the world since then. Miral is a genius.”
Bauford describes herself as an athletic, energetic and powerful dancer.
“I was a basketball player growing up,” she noted. “But in 2006, I started dancing with my cousin and realized I was pretty good at it. When I began competing in Battle Dancing, that’s when I started getting recognized. I found the discipline I was taught playing sports rolled over into dancing. I loved it.”
Their program at the EPC will bring a story of adventure and romance, told through dance styles ranging from contemporary, hip-hop, Latin and breaking, all using the power of light. The combination of dazzling wizardry, spectacular dance moves, high-tech effects and original music, makes iLuminate a unique in-the-dark event.
The main character is Jacob, an introvert, who has fallen in love with Ali. Bauford describes her character – Starlight Jones – as a “fun-loving, 70s type of funk character.”
“In a regular show, everybody sees what’s going on,” she explained. “But with iLuminte, you never know who is going to pop up because it’s in the dark. You can’t take your eyes off of it. You will always be on the edge of your seat.”
The group, which launched in 2009, now performs more than 100 shows per year. They have performed in Egypt, England, Canada, South Africa and China, as well as throughout the United States. In addition to America’s Got Talent, they have been seen on Dancing With the Stars, X-Factor, American Music Awards, MTV’s Video Music Awards, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.
The touring group includes nine performers and two technicians.
“I really encourage people to come see the show,” Bauford said. “There will be explosive dancing and so much happening. People will love it.”
Tickets are priced at $49/$39/$33.
iLuminate will bring light to the darkness at EPC
By Steve Raymond