Dancing puppeteers will bring 'Ugly Duckling' to light

LightWire Theater and Corbian Visual Arts and Dance to perform in Evans

SPECIAL
The Ugly Duckling will be told through illuminated full-body puppetry. Electroluminescent wire can be seen here for the LightWire character Darwin the Dinosaur.
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The medium of dance has been used to tell stories throughout the ages, and a group coming to Columbia County is taking the art form to different level.

"The Ugly Duckling" will be presented by Augusta Amusements on Oct. 18 at the J.S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
"The Ugly Duckling" will be presented by Augusta Amusements on Oct. 18 at the J.S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.

Featured on America’s Got Talent, LightWire Theater and Corbian Visual Arts and Dance, will bring to light Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling at the J.S. Hardin Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

Using puppets outfitted with El Wire, short for electroluminescent wire, dancers create a unique performance.

“When I first saw the wire, I saw the opportunity to create organic creatures that could be brought to life on their own. Even though the dancer and puppet are one – you are not seeing the dancer and can really focus on the emotions and movement of the Ugly Duck, Cat, etc.,” Eleanor Carney, a dancer with the company, wrote in an e-mail while on tour.

Although the dance troupe was started in 2006 and began touring in 2007, it didn’t make a name until members appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2012. They made it to the semifinals with their light-inspired characters.

Carney’s husband, Ian, is listed as one of the company’s creators on the Web site. The couple met through dance when they were teens and have been married about 15 years.

Most of the dancers with the company have extensive training in ballet. The Carneys danced together at the Montgomery Ballet, and he is a ballet instructor at Tulane University. They performed many of the traditional ballet roles in classics such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides and Coppelia.

Eleanor Carney said the wire product provides a freedom for the dancers and their expression. The technology is powered by batteries.

“It was really the medium (El Wire) that was the inspiration. It has allowed us to more or less erase the dancer and put our movement on the various ‘puppets’ we create. We saw it as LightBright (the light-up toy of way back when) come to life,” she wrote.

Tickets are $14.50 and $28.50 from (706) 726-0366 or augustaamusements.com.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: The Ugly Duckling

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18

WHERE: J.S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.

TICKETS: $14.50, $28.50; (706) 726-0366, augustaamusements.com


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