Kansas City’s moment in the spotlight has come and gone, so to speak. Starting at dusk last Friday, Sans Facon unveiled their “spectacle meets surveillance” piece at the intersection of 20th Street and Main. Two theatrical spotlights created an oval of brilliant light on the sidewalk, in stark contrast to the surrounding darkness. For five hours Kansas Citians were able to experience “Limelight”, and as hoped, the project showed how innocuous urban elements like streetlights can become much more than utilitarian in the right hands.
Some dodged the spotlight, slinking along its border like bad guys in an old black and white movie. Others embraced it. There was an extremely democratic response to Limelight: young folks, old folks, artists, mothers, groups of friends, solo performers, unicyclists, bicylists, tricyclists and bagpipers. Most of the “performances” were spontaneous and surprising and often quite touching.
Many of those who experienced Limelight commented on how simple it seemed: turn off the lights, turn on a spotlight and let the magic happen. Having worked with Sans Facon before, however, we have come to appreciate all the hard work that goes into the preparation of such a simple piece. Hats off to all of those people and organizations that came together to overcome the dozens of minor hurdles that can get in the way of such things happening in a municipal environment.