'Lightwire: The Show' March 2

Ian Carney and Corbin Popp are the creators of Lightwire Theater. The group will 
perform at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb at 2 p.m. March 2.
Ian Carney and Corbin Popp are the creators of Lightwire Theater. The group will perform at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb at 2 p.m. March 2.

Lightwire Theater will bring its signature brand of dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and music designed to evoke imagery to DeKalb's Egyptian Theatre for one performance at 2 p.m. March 2.

Reserved tickets for "Lightwire: The Show," sponsored by the Daily Chronicle, cost $10 to $25 and are available at, 815-758-1225 or at the theater box office at 135 N. Second St., from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy this adventure where birds grow 16 feet tall, aliens take the life force from other beings and cats fight with light sabers. Follow the story of an exiled young bird and his extraordinary power. Banished from his tribe, he sets off on his own adventure as an alien species seeks to dominate and destroy their planet and perhaps him, too.

Along the way, he develops an unlikely friendship with an outcast warrior cat and other creatures as they work together to try and save their planet. Appropriate for the whole family, the show is performed in complete darkness.

Since its appearance as semi-finalists on “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, Lightwire Theater has been entertaining audiences all over the world with their unique combination of dance, puppetry and technology. Lightwire Theater most recently performed at Ferrari World’s “Race as Fast as Light” in Abu Dhabi, as finalists for My TF1’s “The Best Le Meilleur Artiste” in Paris and recently returned home to New Orleans to premiere “Lightwire: A Very Electric Christmas.”

Creators Ian Carney and Corbin Popp met while dancing in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show "Movin’ Out." An immediate connection was made as they discovered their mutual love of art, theater and technology.

After coming across a product called EL wire, the lights turned on. “EL wire” is short for electroluminescent wire: Unlike black lights, the technology can be powered by batteries and requires no theatrical lighting. The possibilities seemed endless. Together with their wives, Eleanor and Whitney, they began to develop puppetry-based creatures that quickly gained personality.

Relocating from New York to Ian and Eleanor’s hometown, New Orleans, they continued the creative process. It was there, in the Katrina-ravaged city, that the show began to take shape. The result, after years of engineering and development, was "Darwin the Dinosaur," followed by "The Ugly Duckling" and "LIightwire: The Show."

"Darwin" is an innovative theatrical experience. Electroluminescent creatures light up the darkened stage in the heart-rending tale of a dinosaur who discovers the true meaning of love. Originally created in partnership with The Detroit Music Hall, "Darwin" has performed all over the Americas and Europe for audiences of all ages.

Popp, from Lincoln, Neb., became interested in dance at the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company. He paused to pursue academics, graduating with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1999.

In 2000, he was a Fulbright scholar in Germany. He began his professional dance training during his final years at UNL, and has continued dancing professionally with the Omaha Theater Company, The Sacramento Ballet, Complexions, Billy Joel’s "Movin’ Out" on Broadway and most recently "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway.

A native of New Orleans, Carney began his training with Harvey Hysell and Diane Carney. He continued his studies as a scholarship student with David Howard in New York and Devon Carney of the Boston Ballet.

Carney graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor's degree in English literature while continuing to perform with Ballet Hysell in New Orleans. He then joined Montgomery Ballet with his wife Eleanor in 1996.

He has danced principal roles in "Coppelia," "The Nutcracker," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Scheherazade," to name a few. He danced the lead role and was a dance captain in Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp’s musical "Movin’ Out" for three years on Broadway.
Carney has guested extensively across the United States as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Currently, he balances directing and performing with instructing ballet at Tulane University.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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