Lightwire Theater brings dazzling puppet show ‘Dino-Light' to China
Updated 19:35, 28-Aug-2019
By Yu Fengsheng

American group Lightwire Theater is currently touring China with their child-friendly stage show "Dino-Light," also known as "Darwin the Dinosaur." The tour stopped at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday as part of the ongoing Children's Theater Festival there.

On a completely dark stage, dancers from the Lightwire Theater manipulated their bodies to make puppets come alive by controlling the switch for the electro-luminescent wire on their costumes.

The material is a thin copper wire encased in a layer of phosphor that glows when a current is applied to it. In this way, the artists made "Dino-Light" a dazzling visual display that kids relish. The appreciation of puppetry and its movements best resonates live.

A still photo of "Dino-Light." /CGTN Photo

A still photo of "Dino-Light." /CGTN Photo

The show tells the story of a scientist with magic powers, who brings a friendly dinosaur to life. When the dinosaur wanders away from home, he discovers a wonderful world full of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love.

Back in 2012, a theater group from New Orleans received a standing ovation for its stage sketch on the hit TV show "America's Got Talent." The 90-second skit was called "Dinosaurs with Light Sabers."

But the full story of "Darwin the Dinosaur" started even earlier in 2007. Artist couple Ian Carney and Eleanor B. Carney, both featured in the show, shared their inspiration on writing the story.

A still photo of "Dino-Light." /CGTN Photo

A still photo of "Dino-Light." /CGTN Photo

"The inspiration came from when my husband found this wire and created a dinosaur, and we fell in love with the creature and asked what would happen if it went out around the world," said Eleanor.

"The dinosaur reminded me very much of my little puppy and what a young living creature in this world goes through. Seeing things, absorbing new things, and they don't understand hate, they only understand love. I think that's a beautiful perspective to put out there and that's why I wanted to do this story particular," said Ian.

For many Chinese audiences, it's not just an opportunity for their children to see one of the most innovative theatrical companies in the world. It also allows them to spend some quality time with their loved ones.

"I have watched many other famous shows of the troupe and I think 'Dino-Light' will also be a good one, so I come to watch it tonight," one visitor told CGTN. Another said: "I hope my son can learn something about performing arts through the show. And I think it is also a good chance for me to spend some quality time with him before school opens."

Lightwire Theater started its tour in China in 2018 and has scheduled a total of 20 "Dino-Light" shows in cities all over the country.