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Cirque du Soleil production idolizes Michael Jackson

By Sam Rock in Arts & Culture

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is like Cirque du Soleil on Mountain Dew. Featuring a repertoire comprised exclusively of MJ jams (and slowjams), there isn’t a moment of the show that doesn’t gush with energy and passion.

Both newcomers and hardcore fans of the King of Pop will find something new to enjoy. Each song has been remixed for the stage, and the added visuals create a unique portrayal of Michael Jackson’s world, ranging from Jackson’s musical inspirations, to his vision for world peace, to love.

Typically, Cirque du Soleil shows feature a full band or orchestra fronted by one person singing all of the show’s lead vocals. However, this show is a little different—there’s a very thorough 12-part backing band playing all of the music live underneath MJ’s recorded lead vocals. Jackson’s timeless image stretches across displays everywhere, and the stage is covered with the symbols we have come to know him by. His trademark shoes, dance moves, and general SWAG adorn every corner of the set and the performers act with the same vitality that Jackson always had onstage. His presence is at the forefront throughout the show.

It isn’t all highs all the time, though. A particularly affecting portion of the show, accompanied by Jackson’s devastating song “Childhood,” brings his younger years to attention. This part of the production brings the audience to greater emotional heights than any other Cirque du Soleil show ever has, or ever will. It serves not only to entertain, but to cause us to contemplate the important things in life.

Even with the sad parts, the overall mood of the show is very upbeat and uplifting, and the malleability of Cirque performers really shines through. With mind-bending contortionists, dancing that’s faster than a credit card transaction, a cohort of stocky, lip-synching-MJ-impersonating clowns, a cellist providing a cello fracas, and the most epic production of the “Thriller” dance you will ever see, these performers are nothing short of amazing. Seriously, this is a massively talented bunch.

The King of Pop left us too soon. And with whatever personal problems he may have endured, he could entertain the world better than anyone else. At the end of the day, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is an homage to exactly that. MJ had a tremendous impact on the world, and this show immortalizes and idolizes him in a tasteful and very entertaining way.

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