SARATOGA SPRINGS u Plie. Pirouette. Grand jeté. Moonwalk.
Michael Jackson will be inducted posthumously into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame in an induction ceremony on Sunday.
Jackson, whose name will stand alongside previous inductees like Fred Astaire and Bob Fosse inside of the museum’s white-columned marble foyer, also will be honored by a garden of remembrance that will permanently be sited on the right side of the museum entryway.
Jackson was a curious selection to some dance enthusiasts initially, said Sarah Hall Weaver, assistant director at the museum.
“Some people raised their eyebrows at first,” said Weaver, who also designed the Jackson exhibit inside the museum.
The more the King of Pop’s induction into the dance hall of fame was considered, however, the more there was a realization that Jackson was an appropriate choice, both for his talents and for the way he inspired the masses related to the world of dance, Weaver explained.
“If I showed Balanchine to the person on the street, they would look at me like I was a crazy person,” she said with a laugh, seated at her desk behind a pile of cut-out designs shaped in the form of so many single white gloves that will be used for one of the exhibits.
“If you showed Michael Jackson’s choreography — everybody would know who that is,” Weaver said.
Inside the museum this week, staff members were putting some last-minute touches on interactive exhibits that relive iconic moments from the era of the Jackson 5 to a recreation of the lit up sidewalk of “Billy Jean.”
Weaver said it is all part of the weekend events that she said be filled with “fun shenanigans.”
A gala will be held Saturday night, and the hall of fame induction ceremony will take place Sunday.
Michele Riggi, gala chairwoman, confirmed Thursday afternoon that Marlon Jackson will be attending this weekend’s events and that fellow Jackson 5 member, Jermaine Jackson, was a possibility.
Riggi said she spoke to Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, who told Riggi that her son would have proud to be inducted into the national dance museum.
On the city’s west side, Rena Zeppetelli was busy at work on a Michael Jackson project inside her floral shop on Beekman Street.
Zeppetelli said she was contacted a few weeks ago by a Jackson fan in Lake Placid who asked her to design a garden that would appropriately honor Jackson.
The garden, which is being funded by Jackson fans across the globe, will become a permanent fixture in front of the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.
Zeppetelli said fans have donated thousands of dollars for the garden, which is in the process of being put together and will be unveiled at the museum in late September.
“It will be a beautiful perennial garden with a beautiful water feature,” she said.
The garden, in memory of Jackson, will reflect the things that he loved and that were a part of his life, Zeppetelli said, revealing few details of how the garden will appear.
She did say, however, that she will provide a sketch of the garden to the museum this weekend and that those attending the induction ceremony on Sunday will be able to view the garden’s preliminary design.
Few tickets remain for either weekend event at the museum.
The gala, will be held 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $300 and include admission to the induction ceremony.
Tickets specifically for the induction ceremony, which will take place 5 p.m. Sunday, are $50. The gala is the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
For more information, call 584-2225.