This is it
By Tania Herbert
Four years after his death, it can be easy to forget the influence Michael Jackson had on the world– music, dance, fashion, and a strong (albeit rather odd) wish for world peace. However, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil reminds us of all we loved Michael for in the most spectacular way.
Amongst the extensive list of what made Michael so adored were his phenomenal live performances, and the “rock concert extraordinaire” of song, dance, costume and special effects. Whilst there was frequently an air of circus in MJ’s life and work, I was intrigued as to how Cirque Du Solei would tackle such a challenging array of elements.
Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour not only captured the essence of all that was Michael, but took it to a whole new level. With much more of a rock-concert feel than a circus show, the performance was an absolute feast for the senses. Show-stopping numbers left you quite overwhelmed – when there are extraordinary dancers paying homage to Michael’s greatest moves, flipping acrobats, aerial stunts, tap dancers, a one-legged break dancer, and giant-clockwork projected parts all rocking out in perfectly choreographed chaos, the biggest challenge is to choose where to look.
It would be easy to become lost in the spectacular, but the show beautifully holds the audience through the journey with a central character, mime Mansour Abdessadok, who takes us into Neverland, Michael Jackson’s bizarre Peter-Pan playground. From blow-me-away huge numbers, the show slides seamlessly into beautiful circus performances based on some of MJ’s most iconic music videos, with Anna Melnikova’s “Dangerous” pole dance standing out as a particular crowd-favourite.
Contemporary is mixed with classic throughout. Street art is referenced often with beat box and graf, and the special effects and projection work is just huge. A good eye will pick out special Michael homages, including a re-enactment of the “They Don’t Care About Us” number designed for the never-performed concert “This is It”, and band members with special connections to Michael such as Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett who drummed for him for 30 years.
This show really does have everything, yet somehow manages to do it all with great taste and in genuine honour of a musical genius. Projected footage of Michael’s performances as a child reminds us of where the man began, and of the child in all of us. Immortal really does capture the essence of Michael in a… well, in a huge arena spectacular. Michael would have loved it.
Last night was a sell-out show, so get in quick to book to book. Performances are at Rob Laver Arena from October 9 to 13. The show then heads to Adelaide for the final leg of the national tour.
Tickets at www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849. Tickets range from $89 to $189 each.