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Solstice Dance Shines At San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio International Airport is the unlikely site for one of the city's most intriguing annual rituals. 

You've probably been in a rush trying to find a space at the parking garage, but  as you're searching, maybe that alluring music music's drawn you in. Christopher Janney created the Airport's Passing Light installation

"I was trained as an architect and a jazz musician. I make large, interactive sound and light installations in public buildings."

Music aside--he composed it--light is what makes this piece so unusual. Here explains what he had in mind with marking the passing of the light. 

"So the idea was 'okay, when the sun is at its highest point in the year, and the shadows would be on the floor, let's make that pattern on the floor and watch the shadows move in and out of that pattern.'"

So every Summer Solstice, June 20th, the light passing through colored panels on the garage's 5th floor aligns perfectly with something painted on the first floor. Here's Urban 15's Catherine Cisneros.

"On the day of the solstice they link up with the grid that's painted on the concrete, for a minute. Or less!"  she laughed. I noted "Because as it turns out, the earth is spinning..."

"It is spinning so fast! And you don't realize it until you see this piece" said Cisneros.

The 1999 installation inspired her, who returned to the parking garage on the Solstice in 2000 to mark and honor the longest day of the year.

"On that day it was just total inspiration, total improvisation. We said 'we're gonna do something,  we're going to go out there! we're going to perform something!'"

Costumed in all white, Cisneros created an interpretive dance, and has been honoring the day, and the art installation, for the last 17 years.

"Dance is prayer, prayer is dance. So it's a moment to think about who we are, and how we relate to our planet. "

The performance is free, but of course, there is a small charge--for parking.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii