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Author Topic: The eccentricity of Michael Jackson, the imagination of Cirque  (Read 765 times)

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The eccentricity of Michael Jackson, the imagination of Cirque
« on: September 17, 2011, 06:56:11 PM »

The eccentricity of Michael Jackson, the imagination of Cirque
Dany Bouchard
28-08-2011 | 4:11

(original article in French, translated using google translator)

Michael Jackson would have celebrated his 53rd birthday Monday. No one has forgotten his dancing, his music, his eccentricity and his world of its own. Starting with the Cirque du Soleil, which is immersed in his fantasy, with five weeks to present one of the most anticipated shows of the year.

At the headquarters of Cirque du Soleil, in the St-Michel, a loud noise resembling an earthquake vibrates the walls in an almost eerie crescendo. "They repeat Thriller right now, "says Stéphane Mongeau with a smile.

Executive producer of the show Immortal , Stéphane Mongeau "binds the sauce," it is the project leader, "the base" as he describes himself between the singer's estate and direction of Cirque du Soleil.

"The expectations are immense. We work here with a large icon. (...) So much for the circus, much to the fans, I think people expect you to do (the show) respect for what Michael Jackson has created over the years, we feel as interbreeding between the two, we feel it's a show that Michael would have wanted, we would have wanted to do with him, and that the feeling here with us. "

The world premiere of Immortal will take place in Montreal on October 2. Meanwhile, pressure is felt.

"It's a pressure that is still quite pleasant, but we feel the pressure. We are in the last mile. What we need to do is put it all together, to ensure (to make) what is expected for a year and a half, "says Mongeau. I wake up with tunes, Chantal Tremblay said with a smile, the creative director of the show.

"We work hard but at the same time we feel that things are progressing. You feel nervous, for sure there's pressure. It is a great challenge. "

Immortal is not a traditional show of Cirque du Soleil. "Here we wanted to do is a tribute show. It's a concert. A live concert, music is the driver and part-mistress, "describes Stéphane Mongeau." "We created a show in the arena. We create a show in the range of shows to Madonna in this deployment there, "says Chantal Tremblay.

The sixty performers (12 musicians) work in the show for several weeks, some since the spring. The 25 dancers Immortal (none of them was part of This Is It ) were recruited after auditions.

"We did auditions for dancers in France, in New York and Los Angeles. I have rarely seen a team as excited as homogeneous as that, even if they are 15 different nationalities, "says Mongeau about the group of artists.

"They came here very prepared, especially the dancers of course. They already knew the moves, codes of Michael. (...) The acrobats come with a different background, but even they had learned their lessons before arriving. "

Cirque du Soleil, everything surrounding the preparation of Immortal is top secret. On the ground floor, the door that gives access to the studios is monitored by a security guard sitting at a table where artists, technicians and designers have wisely leave their mobile phones before entering. Directed by Jamie King, Immortal will hear over 50 songs of the late King of Pop.

"Jamie King has chosen songs with the designer of the music, Kevin Antunes. After we talked with John Branca and John McClain (representatives of the estate). We'll hear a lot of music. We'll hear 50 or 60 pieces. We do not call it a remix (of songs) but a rearrangement. It does not create new music. We start from the existing music. It was entitled to hear all the originals, all masters, and even tracks that were developed, recorded, but never used, said Mongeau.

"We went into the vault of Sony. (...) They made us listen to things that hardly anyone has heard. There are some pretty amazing things. "

Divided into five parts, the show has nothing to biographical and order of the songs have nothing to do with their year of production. "These are moments in the life of Michael or stages in his career, says Chantal Tremblay, citing for example," the period ghost , scary , Thriller . "

Neverland: inspiration
Long, the world of Michael Jackson was that of Neverland, his ranch in California, just over two hours from Los Angeles. With Immortal , fans can now get an idea of what the shelter of their idol.

"I was lucky to go once with Daniel Lamarre, Guy Laliberté and people of the estate (the estate)," begins Stéphane Mongeau. In love with the place, he had the idea to organize the first meeting between the creators of the show.

"I thought it was a great starting point because we have all heard of Neverland, with all sorts of ways," he said.

Speaking of the ranch, Chantal Tremblay's face lights up. "It was the best place to meet the first time, to inspire a team completely. (...) We visited with people who worked with Michael. We arrived the same way that Michael came to Neverland: by helicopter. You enter a world of his own. The inspiration was fantastic. "

On site, the creators were able to share with employees of the ranch. "They keep this up then, it's beautiful, untouched. The flowers ... It does not look abandoned at all, at all. There are fewer things the house is empty anyway, there is no furniture as such, there is nothing. (...) You arrive in his room where he danced, vo IS you, you see the scratches on the floor when he danced. You're here, "says Tremblay.

In Neverland, the creators of Immortal discovered the Giving Tree, a large tree where Michael Jackson used to spend time on a small platform. "We got into the tree, the Giving Tree . There are plenty of oaks around 300 and 400 years, it is beautiful, says Chantal Tremblay.

"He put small hooks and small nails to mount the platform, the Giving Tree . You get on the tree, you take the same steps as him, you sit on the same platform. "

The Giving Tree also occupy an important place in Immortal . "The Giving Tree is the centerpiece is our reference point is our point of entry into Neverland. After the rest of the story also happens in Neverland (...) in this fantasy there, "says Stéphane Mongeau, who said he had also inspired the bronze statues scattered across the vast terrain.

"There was also on his land, and that's very circus of beautiful bronze sculptures everywhere. Peter Pan, a balancing act that goes up a ladder, it's very reference to the circus. There was one of a family on a park bench. All kinds of bronze, like that, twenty, easily. So we took inspiration from that. We'll find it all in the show. "

"This visit, there was really a starting team, said the creative director. We went to eat after and we were all on a cloud, it floated, it was soaked in something exceptional. We knew we had just experienced something special that not many people can live. "

For his shows built around the work of Michael Jackson, the agreement binds Cirque du Soleil to the estate of singer Michael Jackson is and her children, not the rest of the family. "We have contacts with some family members (...), but the main wo rk is done with the estate, confirmed Stéphane Mongeau.

"We met the mother once, Chantal and I, but it has not presented the whole show again."

He said the children may be present on opening night. "We hope they will come to the first, even before. They are always welcome, "he said.

"We hope that children will be proud of. At the same time, they will feel their father, they will feel the passion that Michael had its dance, its music and everything, "said Tremblay.