Michael Jackson -The Immortal World Tour Cirque du Soleil visits LA at the Staples Center on August 14th and 15th, 2012

WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY JAMIE KING
Two Los Angeles Performances from August 14 ‐ 15, 2012
at STAPLES Center
Los Angeles – Due to the success of the show in January, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour returns to Los Angeles from August 14 – 15, 2012 at STAPLES Center for two performances only. This once‐in‐a‐lifetime electrifying production combines Michael Jackson music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture. Proudly sponsored by Sun Life Financial and Infiniti, the show is written and directed by Jamie King, the leading concert director in pop music today, and features more than 60 international dancers, musicians and acrobats.
Tickets are on sale now for both performances. Tickets are $50 to $250 each and are available at www.ticketmaster.com or 1‐800‐745‐3000. For additional information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/MichaelJackson.
A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds his artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.
THE IMMORTAL World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspiration and the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked—his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.
The underpinnings of THE IMMORTAL World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics—the driving force behind the show—brought to life with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity.
Writer and Director Jamie King has been called one of the most influential “movers and shakers” in the music industry, and the “Jerry Bruckheimer of tent‐pole concert tours” by Variety. A multiple Emmy Award® and MTV Video Music Award® nominee, he has choreographed some of the most popular music videos and directed some of the highest‐grossing concert tours of all time. For the past 12 years, he has served as Madonna’s creative director, and most recently directed world tours for Rihanna, Celine Dion,
Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne. King has worked with an array of superstars including Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Shakira, George Michael, Elton John, Diana Ross, Jennifer Lopez and even Ellen DeGeneres. This is Jamie’s first show with Cirque du Soleil.

Press Kit
Show Overview
Written and Directed by Jamie King
Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour™ is a once-in-a-lifetime electrifying production that combines Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture. The show is written and directed by Jamie King, the leading concert director in pop music today, and features more than 60 international dancers, musicians and acrobats.
A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.
THE IMMORTAL World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspiration and the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked—his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.
The underpinnings of THE IMMORTAL World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics—the driving force behind the show—brought to life with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity.
Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour will perform in North America through fall 2012 and then move to Europe. For more information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/michaeljackson.
The Scenes
Childhood
In front of the gilded gates of Neverland, the Mime awakens the bronze statues that inhabit this magical place.
Wanna Be Starting Something
In a wild, high-powered number, dancers and acrobats in tribal costumes climb, jump and flip around the stage.
Fanatics Medley
In front of the Neverland gates, the Fanatics take part in a friendly competition as they lipsync and perform to the sounds of a Jackson 5 medley, which finally allows their passage into Neverland.
Dancing Machine
In a scene that evokes an ironworks factory, a group of welders fly and swing on motorized cables. They perform on various “dancing machines,” paying tribute to different dance styles.
Ben
A tableau that celebrates Michael’s love of animals.
This Place Hotel
Suspended in the air, artists perform a sensual aerial tango as if they were in an anti-gravity nightclub.
Smooth Criminal
Fleet of foot, dancers perform a choreography that showcases Michael Jackson’s iconic moves, including his famous leaning motion.
Dangerous
Surrounded by gangsters, a female acrobat performs a “dangerous” pole-dancing act.
Transposed in the theatrical and acrobatic language of Cirque du Soleil,
Michael Jackson’s music and his messages have taken on a life of their own.
SMOOTH CRIMINAL
DANGEROUS
CHILDHOOD
DANCING MACHINE
Mime
Suddenly inhabited by Michael Jackson’s spirit, the Mime is
completely transformed and infused with Michael’s talents as he
performs a funky beatbox number.
Human Nature
While a 3D version of the Neverland logo (Michael as a boy sitting on
the crescent moon) is suspended above the stage, artists representing
the constellations wearing multicolored LED costumes swoop, soar
and float in the air.
Scary Story – Is It Scary
Like a mind-bending storyteller, a contortionist comes out of a giant
Book of Tales. As beautiful as she is strange, she turns the pages in
the most unusual positions.
Bats – Threatened
Suspended upside down at first, artists wearing striking winged bat
costumes perform a dramatic choreography.
Thriller
This scene re-imagines Michael Jackson’s original choreography
for Thriller and showcases his iconic moves. Acrobats and dancers
dressed as mummies perform among coffins and tombstones in a
cavalcade of jumps, leaps and bounds.
Swans – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You
Appearing as a black and a white swan, two artists emerge from
a lake to perform a graceful straps duo. An aerial ballet of strength
and emotions.
Beat It
Embodied and manipulated by the Fanatics, Michael Jackson’s
signature accessories – his famous glove and penny loafers – are
brought to life. In the final moments of the scene, an electric guitar
and an electric cello engage in a rock-infused duel on center-stage.
Jam
Inspired by the video Michael Jackson made with basketball superstar
Michael Jordan, artists play with basketballs and perform a hip-hopinspired
choreography.
Earth Song
In a menacing atmosphere, the Mime dances with Mother Earth.
The Scenes (continued)
SWANS – I JUST CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU
SCARY STORY – IS IT SCARY
BATS – THREATENED
THRILLER
Scream
Acrobats execute a perfectly synchronized tumbling act, flinging themselves in the air and bellyflopping onto the stage as Ninja-style aerial dancers suspended above interact with the Japanimation-inspired sequences projected on the screens. The scene evokes the destruction of the world: the tree is ablaze and the planet is in peril.
They Don’t Care About Us
In a reenactment of the number that was designed for the THIS IS IT concert tour, artists dressed like soldiers wearing robot suits with LED breastplates line up to perform a powerful choreography in unison.
Will You Be There / I’ll Be There
As the soldiers’ breastplates begin to glow, artists descend from within the audience onto the stage holding red glowing hearts in a scene that evokes rebirth.
Mega Mix – Can You Feel It/Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black or White
This sequence is a fusion of music, dance and acrobatics. During Can You Feel It acrobats execute a Swiss rings act moving from stage to sky. This scene segues into a riveting dance number on Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough. Michael’s famed choreographic style is showcased once more during the Billie Jean sequence; his silhouette is revealed by the dancers’ LED costumes. In Black or White, performers manipulate flags in a tribute to the nations and dance styles of the world, including African, Spanish, Thai and Georgian dances.
Man In the Mirror
The show’s finale culminates with the song Man in the Mirror – a song Michael often chose to end his concerts – in a celebration of the legacy of an immortal.
The Scenes (continued)
CAN YOU FEEL IT
BILLIE JEAN
THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US
BLACK OR WHITE
Set Design, Props and Video Projections
Setting the stage
Neverland was also the venue chosen to hold the first meeting of the show’s creative team. “I remember going to Neverland with the creative team and meeting the grounds people who have remained faithful to Michael,” Jamie King reminisces. “I recall seeing the Giving Tree where he wrote among other things most of the Dangerous tour that I danced on, and I truly felt that I was at the right place creating this show.”
“Working on a rock show without a live artist can be challenging,” Set Designer, Mark Fisher explains. “In this case, the set design takes on a whole new meaning. Its role is to fill the shadows as it were, and to evoke the artist’s presence.”
The props as storytelling devices
Props and Scenic Designer Michael Curry, who was one of the designers on the THIS IS IT concert tour, has developed props that serve as storytelling devices. For example, a huge book of tales and Michael’s famed glove and shoes become giant props inhabited by nimble dancers. Curry’s goal was to tap into and trigger the fans’ memories of Michael, and to focus attention on the performance. Many of the props are subtext for the songs or support the narrative.
The projections – In Michael’s image
The video projections in THE IMMORTAL World Tour not only act as storytelling devices, they play a key role in making Michael’s presence palpable. Projection Designer Olivier Goulet integrated video content such as footage of Michael’s performances and real-time projections of the performances on stage.
Technical Facts
• THE IMMORTAL’s versatile stage is highly technical with multiple lifts for scene changes. A large, multi-purpose LED screen was developed: it starts flat on the stage, stands up to act as a projection surface and turns into a ramp. In the middle of the stage, there are large drawers that serve as steps for artists to perform on.
• The stage area that extends into the audience – called
the B Stage or runway – is equipped with a conveyor belt, a lift and video screen.
• The giant shoes directly reference Michael Jackson’s famous penny loafers. They are eight feet long and created from orthopedic foam with a vinyl skin.
• The six-foot tall glove is a soft sculpture that allows the dancer inside to create various hand positions using their full body.
• The total video projection surface in the show is more than 5,300 square feet, larger than a basketball court.
• It took more than 9,000 hours to create all the props and puppets used in the show.
Music
Hard-wired into Michael Jackson’s inspirational music and lyrics, THE IMMORTAL World Tour conjures up the extraordinary power and emotional intensity of Jackson’s unforgettable concert performances.
“It starts with the music,” says Director Jamie King. “Michael’s voice is what drives the show. I have the opportunity to carry on Michael’s legacy, to take all that energy – all that he was and was going to be – and build it into this production.”
Looking forward
To weave together the all-important musical components of the show, Jamie King called upon Musical Designer Kevin Antunes, who was given unprecedented access to the master recordings, and Musical Director Greg Phillinganes, who has worked with Michael for more than 25 years, providing an unparalleled depth of knowledge of his music and live performances. “Our goal is not to simply cover Michael, but to take his music to a whole new level,” King explains. The Director wanted to integrate as many songs into the production as possible, so this meant mash-ups, remixes and new arrangements. It also meant moving them forward emotionally, weaving songs together in new ways so that the music feels new and fresh all the while respecting Michael’s essence and his voice.
Michael’s voice –
The driving force behind the show
To say Michael’s voice drives the show is somewhat of an understatement. “In some of his songs,” Antunes says, “Michael would let the grooves breathe and he would tuck his voice underneath the music. In this show, the world is going to hear Michael’s voice like they’ve never heard it before.”
Banding together to keep
Michael’s spirit alive
To showcase Michael’s voice and support the huge cast, Musical Director Greg Phillinganes has rounded up a stellar group of musicians, including Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett, who played drums for Michael for 30 years. “I wanted to handpick everybody on the band,” he explains. “I knew exactly whom I wanted. We have a full band, including horns and an electric cello. I wanted to have as many players as possible with a direct, personal history with Michael Jackson. We are all doing this because of the love we have for Michael. His spirit will live in this show.”
Music close-ups
• THE IMMORTAL World Tour features more than 30 of Michael’s songs, in addition to numerous bits and pieces of songs that have been used for the soundscapes and transitions.
• Musical Designer Kevin Antunes has created a very intimate experience. The audience can even hear Michael snap his fingers or stomp his feet in some audio segments.
• During Dancing Machine, cinematic sound effects were added to blend the music with the acrobatic performance.
• Instead of hearing the string section in Childhood in normal stereo, the whole orchestra spreads out and the audience will experience this song in a new light.
• Michael’s phrase “Cause we’re all the same!” from Can You Feel It was added in between the choruses of Black or White.
• They Don’t Care About Us features a previously unreleased choir that Michael recorded.
• The Jackson 5 song ABC features a never-heard before outtake call and response that Michael recorded when he was young.
Music (continued)
• The voice of Naomi Campbell and elements of the song
In the Closet were blended into the intro of the Dangerous scene.
• In the “Scary” section the creepy voice-over segment
during the Book of Tales segment was performed by Kevin Antunes.
• The song Ease on Down the Road from the movie “The Wiz”
was added as traveling music for one of the Fanatic
characters’ numbers.
Costumes
Few stage performers have created iconic looks that are directly related to specific songs. Say Billie Jean, and the black sequin jacket, black and white-striped tuxedo pants and fedora hat immediately come to mind. As for Thriller, one unmistakably sees the red leather jacket with the two black diagonal stripes. In THE IMMORTAL World Tour, there are references galore to Michael Jackson’s legendary outfits.
“Michael is our narrator, leading us on a journey through his lyrics, his poetry, his visuals, his moves and, of course, how he dressed,” explains Director Jamie King. Michael’s world was the wellspring of Costume Designer Zaldy Goco’s creativity. ”My approach has been to draw upon and respect Michael’s iconic style while creating something new and fresh. I placed subtle references throughout the costumes in the show,” says Zaldy, who was also Michael Jackson’s exclusive designer for the THIS IS IT concert series.
Keeping Michael’s legacy alive
For Zaldy, playing a role in THE IMMORTAL World Tour had a special emotional resonance. “The prospect of working on this show,” he points out, “was not so much a second chance with regard to THIS IS IT as much as an opportunity to honor Michael and keep his legacy alive with new ideas.”
Flights of fancy
The color palette in THE IMMORTAL is rich and lively. Michael loved gold and all things ornate and shiny. He was fond of Swarovski crystals – aurora borealis in particular. The show’s costumes are a rainbow of colors and called for innovative materials and techniques. “In particular, we explored techniques such as 3D printing and LED, pushing the limits just as Michael would,” says Zaldy.
The production brims with imaginative costumes and outfits. Gangster types have surreal guns that seem to be tucked in their pockets but are only shapes; when they pull the trigger built into their “gun gloves”, streams of pyro shoot out. The ghoulish Thriller characters wear pure white, shiny outfits; the bloody innards that show behind the wrappings reflect Michael’s love for horror movies. The straps duo artists appear as magnificent swans; covered in Swarovski crystals, their costumes are corseted and laced in reference to Michael’s corseted wrist in his Black or White video.
Costume Fun Facts
• The bat costumes are made of ultra lightweight paper used for shipping parcels. The huge, lifelike gold wings create a stunning effect.
• The copper-colored “welder” costumes with zippers in Dancing Machine directly reference Michael’s red, silver-meshed, zipper-clad jacket in Beat It.
• The soldiers’ costumes in They Don’t Care About Us are essentially made of mytex (foil transfer) on a polyester frame with padding.
• The shoulder pads on the gangster costumes for Smooth Criminal and Dangerous are made using 3D printing.
• Each costume in the Celestial/Human Nature scene is equipped with 275 blinking LED lights specially designed for the show. They change color during the song to mimic constellations.
• More than 90 costume pieces in three different acts use unique LED light technology.
• There are more than 250 costumes in the show and more than 1,000 pieces total including accessories, shoes, hats and head pieces.
• Three 52-foot trucks are required to carry the costumes and additional wardrobe equipment (washers and dryers, sewing machines, supplies, etc.) from city to city.
Costumes (continued)
Creators
GUY LALIBERTÉ
Guide and Founder
JAMIE KING
Writer and Director
CHANTAL TREMBLAY
Director of Creation
KEVIN ANTUNES
Musical Designer
GREG PHILLINGANES
Musical Director
MICHAEL CURRY
Props & Scenic Designer
MARK FISHER
Set Designer
ZALDY GOCO
Costume Designer
GERMAIN GUILLEMOT
Acrobatic Designer
OLIVIER GOULET
Projection & Video
Content Designer
SCOTT OSGOOD
Acrobatic Equipment
& Rigging Designer
MARTIN LABRECQUE
Lighting Designer
FRANÇOIS DESJARDINS
Sound Designer
FLORENCE CORNET
Make-Up Designer
Choregraphers
JAMAL SIMS
Choreographer
TRAVIS PAYNE
Choreographer
RICH & TONE TALAUEGA
Choreographers
DEBRA BROWN
Choreographer
TABITHA & NAPOLEON DUMO
Choreographers
MANDY MOORE
Choreographer
TAMARA LEVINSON & DANIEL CLOUD CAMPOS
Choreographers
At a Glance
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company
has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from
close to 50 different countries.
Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than
100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.
For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit
www.cirquedusoleil.com
The mission
The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination,
provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people
around the world.
The creation of Cirque du Soleil
It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Québec
City in Canada. There, in the early eighties, a band of
colourful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts,
juggling, dancing, breathing fi re, and playing music. They
were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul
Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles
Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and
intrigued by the young performers – including Guy Laliberté
who founded Cirque du Soleil.
The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (the
High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête
foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street
performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven
the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was
repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts
attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and their
cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Québec
circus and take the troupe travelling around the world.
In 1984, Québec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary
of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed
a show that would carry the festivities out across the
province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show
called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in
convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t
stopped since!

Photos:
http://s3.amazonaws.com/Arenas/MJTIWT/mj‐official‐photos.zip