Through my company Technology and Society, Incorporated, my wife Virginia Belt and I sponsored the January 25-27, 2024, weekend run of Kid Lightning by Boise, Idaho group LED. Part of the White Bird Uncaged series, Kid Lightning depicts and comments on the pursuit of celebrity through beautifully choreographed and artfully executed modern dance as told through the lens of a 1970s-style game show.
Narrative dance demands precise movement and effective characterization from the performers. While abstract dance is almost always entertaining, I prefer the challenge of reacting to a story presented to me directly rather than being asked to discern or even manufacture the meaning of what I’m seeing on stage. Artistic Director and Choreographer Lauren Edson, along with husband Andrew Stensaas who is the company’s Creative Director and Composer, designed and executed a performance that Ginny and I were delighted to support.
The dancers were all fantastic and the choreography featured their individual skills rather than forcing them to adapt to a smoothed-out version of the role that anyone with a given (admittedly high) level of talent could do. Ginny was a professional ballerina and has taught me to appreciate the give-and-take between choreographer and dancer—I believe the performance I saw several times over the run showed that Lauren had meaningful conversations with the dancers as the specific choreography for this series of shows developed.
Thanks also to Graham Cole, Artistic Director of White Bird, for inviting us to sponsor LED and Kid Lightning. Boise is a short flight and eight-hour drive from Portland, so we hope to make it to the space LED is growing in Boise to see more of their work.
For more information on White Bird Dance, visit whitebird.org. LED can be found at ledboise.com. Technology and Society can be found on the web at techsoc.com.
Curtis Frye is the president of Technology and Society, Incorporated.