NEWARK — Since its opening, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil has honored the King of Pop through music, dance and acrobatics 117 times. Night after night, artists celebrate the life of the late Michael Jackson, but how do they take his iconic legacy and put it into a production? When the tour came to New York City this week, MTV News went behind the scenes to talk with the creative forces and performers to find out.
The artists (all 65 of them) had limited time to train and learn choreography — an especially difficult feat when it’s honoring MJ’s signature moves. It was a kind of pressure that creative director Tara Young certainly learned to channel into a positive force.
“I think it is a pressure for sure; something I share with the whole building here is that we have nothing to prove, only to share,” Young told MTV News. “We have an opportunity to share what Michael would have wanted to share and the pressure is only there to achieve excellence.”
For Felix Cane, a two-time world champion pole dancer who does a captivating performance to “Danger,” it was all about using that pressure to help the audience to remember the pop icon. “You are sharing this passion with them, and this love of MJ. There’s times in the show when some people and I, myself, might have shed a few tears.”
That pressure never felt as great as when the Jackson family sat in the front row at a show in Montreal, an experience Young described as “inspiring.” When asked what MJ would think if he were sitting there with them, Young smiled, “He would feel such a sense of pride of what he has given us to work with. It evokes emotions in people that they didn’t even know were going to come out.”
I think everyone feels inspired, which evokes a certain feeling of change,” Young added. “You feel a sadness too because he is not with us anymore, and that is an emotion that is wonderful too actually … just to honor him.”
The tour will continue in North America through the summer, before heading to Europe this fall.
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