Both Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil are mavericks in their field, says dancer and choreographer Jamie King, director of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, the massive show that rolls into Dubai this Monday.
“When I looked out my hotel window and saw all these huge buildings and the manmade islands, I felt, this is Michael,” King said during an interview with tabloid! in September. “Michael Jackson believed in the illogical. What you have created here is not just remarkable but seems just as illogical. I feel Michael would have wanted to be here. He was not just a global superstar but wanted the world to become one. And I’m proud that the Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour has brought his fans, old and young, together to celebrate his legacy, his music, his showmanship and the man who was a great teacher, all over the world”.
Brought by Duvent Events, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour begins at Dubai World Trade Centre Arena on December 30 and will run until January 14 as part of Dubai Shopping Festival. The show, with 60-plus performers, is a fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy from the late King of Pop’s work. And King, as the director, is the pivot on which it rests.
“How can you not have a big show if you mix the world of Cirque du Soleil and Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer in the world? As a writer-director it is a huge responsibility,” said King. “It has actors, artists, dancers, acrobats, and musicians… all things Michael Jackson loved. It’s a combination of theatre and a rock-style show. The music, the acrobatics, the dances are all larger than life. No one can be Michael — he was one of a kind. But what we can do, and respectfully, is making sure we have a cast that is diverse yet interprets Michael in the best possible way. There will be 65 Michaels on stage. It will be reliving, in the most spectacular way, those moments we all love about Michael Jackson”.
In the past 16 years, King has worked with Madonna, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne, Mariah Carey, Shakira, George Michael, Korean superstar Rain, Elton John, Diana Ross and even Ellen DeGeneres. He is a multiple Emmy Award and MTV Video Music Award nominee. “I think it is all about how you walk into the room,” he says about working with such big names in the industry. “What you give is what you get. When I walk in for a first meeting with an artist it is important to be really, really open and make sure they are comfortable in the space of being creative. And I think they’ve realised that too, so I’ve never had a bad experience”.
Reinterpreted in the Cirque-way, it is really a journey of the characters, which go into this fantastical world called Michael Jackson that we all remember, love and know. Here we get to experience his music, his iconic looks — remember the sequined glove that we all probably had at one time? — and into different areas of himself. We see the humanitarian Michael Jackson and his love for animals. We also see the iconic, Smooth Criminal-Thriller dance star that we loved, and show culminates with all of us in the fairy tale land of Neverland.
Here happens a twist where you will see one of the characters evolve into and become a part of that world in a very special way. We delve into Michael’s head and feel and see the essence of the man. Immortal Tour is different from Michael Jackson One (also directed and written by King) because it’s a combination of theatre and rock and roll. Where the latter, showing at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is available to about 2,000 or so people at a time, Immortal Tour shows in arenas with capacity of up to 20,000 people at a time. It’s built for spectacle. It’s less about a story and more about a journey. That’s how Michael would have wanted to do it.
Michael Jackson was the ultimate professional. And often he would switch and become a comedian. He had all these different sides to him. He was a loving man, funny man, generous man, he was the greatest entertainer on earth.
For more information log on to jamiekingofficial.com.