June 25th, 2009 was one fateful day that I still clearly remember, one of my best friends sent me a text message saying, Michael Jackson apparently, at 50 years old, passed away. Thinking it could most likely be an Internet hoax or a predictable attempt to increase the buzz for his upcoming and most anticipated world tour – This Is It, it was best to wait for the truth.
Alas, a hoax it was not. A very sad, sad day, it was. The world did lose someone so special, a brilliant talent (though to some, a lost soul) – a musical genius that has undoubtedly left his mark in history. His dance moves were so iconic they have been re-created over and over again in concerts, films and countless dance halls all over the world. His fashion and costume choices made significant choices, people not only stopped and noticed but copied throughout the years. And his vocals and words so moving and thoroughly thoughtful — they helped heal the world.
While Michael Jackson is gone, this time, his message and his songs live on. Through the theatrical and acrobatic language of the globally renowned and Canadian-born Cirque du Soleil, his legacy comes alive in a magical performance of visuals, dance, music and fantasy. I was so unfortunate to be invited to witness the immortal Michael Jackson comes back to life once again, if only through 3D depictions of himself as a little boy, his hauntingly beautiful voice and all too familiar songs.
The entire night, which opened with a lovable mime who awakened all the bronzed statues in the front of the gilded gates of Neverland, was a superb show of one number after another with the industry’s most talented dancers, acrobats, contortionists, musicians and artists.
I was incredibly impressed by the world-class calibre of performance and the jaw-dropping level of atheleticism some of the dancers displyed. I was completely mesmerized during the “Dangerous” performance of a perfectly lean acrobat on what seems like a hundred-foot stripper pole, I swear I wish I was a stripper for one brief moment.
Colourful and vibrant tribal costumes, whimsical tutus, dapper suits, larger than life afros and everything sequin kept me on my on my high-heeled toes! The high powered group of musicians – drums, bass guitar, percussion, saxophone, etc. with the very fierce and Avatar-looking trumpet and cello players rocked the Scotiabank Centre like nobody’s business. The stage was intricately decorated and the re-creations of Michael Jackson’s best hits was, no doubt, nostalgic and moving. This was a night that offered a unique view into Michael Jackson’s spirit, passion and heart.
Without having to reveal too much of this once-in-a-lifetime electrifying production that combined Michael Jackson’s best-selling music and famous dance moves with the choreography and creativity of Cirque du Soleil, I have been moved one too many times during the night. Though if I have to highlight my winning choices, the following performances went straight to my heart and touched me deeply: Smooth Criminal, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, Gone Too Soon, They Don’t Care About Us, Heal the World, Will You Be There, Black or White…
I gasped, I had goosebumps, I clapped, I cheered, I was speechless and yes, I cried…
If you have a chance to see Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson – The IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR, I urge you to go and see this one absolutely phenomenal show. For now my friends, I would love to leave you with words that must be etched within our hearts:
“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe. ”
― Michael Jackson
Special thank you to Ms. Stephanie Kersey and Ms. Kita Szpak