Tyra Banks, Tracy Morgan, Ice T and more came out last week to see Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour at The Garden. The Cirque Du Soleil show honors the King of Pop through music, dance and acrobatics in a celebration of the life of the late Michael Jackson. But how do they take his iconic legacy and put it into a cirque production? When the tour came to New York City recently, MTV News went behind the scenes to talk with the creative forces and performers to find out and ask about performing for the Jackson family.
After all, the nerves had to be high when they performed for the family in Montreal, as Creative Director Tara Young described, “The brothers have come and absolutely, that was pretty inspiring for everybody because they all sat in the front row so our artists on stage can see them and Michael’s kids came as well [in Los Angeles] which was really something.”
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 would hope that he would be very proud of us and excited of what we’ve done with his music and his messages. We’ve tried to really encompass all of his body of work, we couldn’t do every single song, but really the messages that we thought were important to him and really try to strive to be as incredible as he was. So I hope he would be happy and pleased.”
In addition to evoking strong emotions, performing to MJ’s songs also came with a lot of pressure. 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.
Tara Young recalled rehearsing before the tour began. “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 recalled. “We have an opportunity to share what Michael would have wanted to share and the pressure is only there to achieve excellence.”
Acrobats perform to King of Pop’s hit song “Black or White”