LED's new production is described in three phrases on a promotional poster:
"Jaw-dropping physicality. Original music. Immersive storytelling."
The world premiere was created by the two who run the show at the award-winning arts organization that defies definition. "Kid Lightning," said LED co-founder and one-half of the creative behind the production, is "a narrative work conceptualized by my husband and I. We created the story and are using music, theatrics and dance to create a 1970s inspired world."
There is a game show element that features "a quirky Ed Sullivan-type" host, with contestants vying to be Kid Lightning. According to the LED story Bible shared with Boise Weekly, the contestants "push their limits to claim fame and enter the intoxicating arena of celebrity, only to discover that it was more than they bargained for. Each contestant vying for the coveted title of 'Kid Lightning' soon finds out that the host has different intentions than crowning a winner. They are then thrust into a reality where the game show construct is transformed into something else, and the stakes become much higher."
"Kid Lightning" touches on a number of themes, including: group think, individual vs. collective, celebrity, fame, the destructive nature of herd mentality, superficial facade vs. reality, and grace within us, the story Bible explains.
Artistic Director and Choreographer Edson and her husband and LED co-founder, Andrew Stensaas, whose title is also: creative, director/composer, loved the challenge of creating the production. It's unique, she said.
"We kind of consider what we do an experience — to create meaningful experience that is more visceral. … And the Morrison Center really is the venue to premiere a big work."
The action will not be contained on the stage proper, Edson said. The proscenium will add a sort of thrust stage to enhance the experiential atmosphere. "There is a runway that will bring the dancers closer to the audience," she said.
The work also incorporates some film elements and original music composed by Stensaas.
The eight cast members, who represent local talent as well as talent hailing from New York and New Orleans are: James Barrett, Franco Nieto, Tony Carnell, Jacob Beasley, Cassidy Fulmer, Colleen Loverde, Emma Lalor, and Elise Gonsalves. They are artists in the true sense of the word, said Edson. "I consider them way more than dancers."
"If you've come to any LED shows, it's definitely different," Edson said. "This is the one to see."