'DiNO-Light' comes to Nazareth College Arts Center

09:58 AM, Jan 12, 2014

DiNO-Light was created by Ian Carney and Corbin Popp, who use darkness, dance, illuminated wiring and puppetry to tell stories. (Nicholson/Carney/Popp)/


Written By Caurie Putnam

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If you go

What:
DiNO-Light, presented by Corbian Visual Arts and Dance in collaboration with Lightwire Theater.
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, January 18. Q&A with performers immediately following the show.
Where: Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Ave., Pittsford.
Cost: $17 and $20. Ticketholders may participate in a free pre-performance glow-in-the-dark craft activity at 1 p.m. (pre-registration is required).
For tickets: (585) 389-2170 or artscenter.naz.edu.

If you think storytelling is something that can only be done with words, Corbian Visual Arts and Dance will make you think again.

The New Orleans troupe, in collaboration with Lightwire Theater, uses darkness, dance, illuminated wiring and puppetry to bring original children’s stories to life.

We put movement and light on a creature,” says Eleanor Carney, Corbian’s co-director, in a phone interview from her home in New Orleans. “We erase the person, the puppeteer and the dancer so the character looks like it has a life of their own.”

The troupe, which was a finalist in the 2012 season of NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent, will bring what the judge’s called a one-of-a-kind talent to Rochester for one performance on Saturday at Nazareth College Arts Center.

What we do is cool looking,” Carney says. “But cool only gets five to 10 minutes of a person’s attention.”

The troupe ups the ante by focusing on the life-size characters, created out of squiggles of light wire, at the heart of their performances.

For people to get engaged, they have to care about the characters,” said Carney, a classical ballet dancer. “We always start with the characters first and build the story from there.”

The main character coming to the Rochester show is Darwin the Dinosaur, a friendly dinosaur created by scientists who wanders away from home and discovers a world of creatures who light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love.

It’s a story about love and going out into the world,” Carney said.

Carney wrote DiNO-Light with her husband, Ian Carney, a dancer, director and choreographer who co-created Corbian with Broadway dancer Corbin Popp.

The 60-minute show, meant to appeal to audiences of all ages, first premiered in 2007 and has been performed across the country.

There have been huge jumps in technology over the past few years, and we’re constantly updating our technology,” Eleanor Carney says. “We’re always trying to push the envelope.”

But the Carneys also know when to pull back and let human emotion trump technology.

In DiNO-Light, the dancers, all of whom have impressive dossiers of dance and acting experience, wear LED lights that they control personally while onstage — providing a different visual experience for each audience.

There’s something to be said about the lights not being controlled by computers,” Eleanor Carney says.