Michael Jackson Reality Show Might Help Find Cirque Du Soleil Choreographer
In a Montreal newspaper, it said yesterday that this reality show could start early 2011. (May 20, 2010)
I know people will react by saying “more money-hungry people using MJ ‘s name for profit”, but I actually think MJ would get a kick out of this.
Posted on April 21st, 2010 at 4:19 pm by MTV Asia
BEVERLY HILLS, California — By now, you may have heard that Cirque du Soleil has unveiled an ambitious plan to bring Michael Jackson back for a series of high-profile stage shows in Las Vegas and beyond. But what you might not know is that these plans will also take the King of Pop off the stage and into everything from nightclubs to restaurants to … a reality show?
Photo: Al Messerschmidt Archive / Getty Images
“There’s not a lack of creativity around the table,” grinned Cirque President and CEO Daniel Lamarre when we sat down with him on Tuesday (April 20). “Between [Michael Jackson estate co-executors] John McClain and John Branca and all the creative team at Cirque du Soleil, we’re already bouncing a lot of new ideas around.
“This joint venture is not only for those two shows, but for all of the other initiatives that we can develop together,” he added. “We are already working on the concept of nightclubs, restaurants and other experiences and other types of content that we can develop on the brand of Michael Jackson.”
One of the leading concepts is a reality TV show that Lamarre hopes to launch by the end of this year. He describes it as a chance to combine television’s two hottest shows, “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars,” with the distinctive style of the King of Pop.
“John McClain came to us with the idea,” he said of the yet-untitled program, which would have a national audience assisting as they built the Cirque stage shows. “We would pick the best choreographer that there is in the world to work on [our stage] show, but also use them in a reality show in order to find a new, cutting-edge choreographer that could join the team.”
The reality show would also audition dancers for the MJ shows, with a certain number of the top contestants landing a Cirque gig. “That could be an exciting moment,” Lamarre said of the show. “Right now there is a huge appetite for people that want to participate in this Michael Jackson tribute.”
The Michael Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil are spearheading the Michael Jackson projects with MGM Mirage, the gaming company that owns such Vegas hotels as Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo and more. Lamarre said that one of the MGM Mirage hotels will host the Las Vegas Michael Jackson/ Cirque show, and the venture’s press release mentions that “special lifestyle projects including a nightclub” will be developed.
“We are exploring all of those opportunities right now,” Lamarre offered. “We’re at the early stages of those ideas. But we want to make sure that all the fans around the world that want to celebrate Michael Jackson have an opportunity to do it through the experiences we will bring to them.”
But if those Michael Jackson-themed restaurants become a reality, Lamarre did make us one key promise: They won’t include moonwalking waiters attempting to balance food trays.
“I don’t think anybody can do it the way Michael Jackson was doing it,” he laughed.
A just-announced collaboration between Michael Jackson’s estate and Cirque du Soleil also includes plans for a reality TV show along the lines of “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” to discover a young choreographer to help develop an arena tour and permanent show in Las Vegas built on Jackson’s music, dancing and life story.
The TV show, in the discussion stage but targeted to be on the air sometime early in 2011, would audition young dance enthusiasts from across the globe in search of “someone young, who is cutting edge, from the outside, someone in the streets, who can bring that style that no one’s ever seen before, like Michael always did,” John Branca, co-executor of Jackson’s estate, said Tuesday.
The parties believe the combination of Jackson’s name, Cirque’s reputation and a talent discovery show similar to two of the most popular shows on television right now will make it a hit.
The show’s winner would join two other professional choreographers to be selected by the team assembling the concert-style arena tour slated to get under way in the fall of 2011, and a Jackson-themed permanent show in Las Vegas.
“There is not a lack of creativity around the table,” Cirque President and CEO Daniel Lamarre said Tuesday. “We’re just starting to work closer together, and those are the initial ideas we’ve decided to go ahead with. But there are other ideas. We will be pursuing lots of lifestyle ideas. That’s only the beginning of our bold, creative forces working together.”
The deal with Cirque is just the latest in an aggressive series of grand-scale projects Jackson’s estate has undertaken in recent months, in addition to the concert film and DVD “This Is It” from the tour that was aborted when he died last June and a new long-term contract with Sony Music covering reissues as well as new compilations of previously unissued recordings and, potentially, video games.
— Randy Lewis