How the dancers do the famous lean in Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” might be a secret. But performer Cameron McKinlay could talk all day about how getting to do that lean in Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson The Immortal” world tour is a dream come true.
“For me, that’s one of the most iconic moments in the show — to be a ‘Smooth Criminal’ dancer,” the 28-year-old dancer said.
McKinlay’s first Cirque du Soleil show was “The Beatles Love” in Las Vegas, which he said he performed with for three years. When he heard about the Michael Jackson show, he auditioned and came on board when it began in October 2011.
Since then, the tour has taken him to 29 countries and more than 140 cities around the world. And one year ago, it became even better, when his fiancee, whom he met on the Beatles show, joined the tour.
One thing he said shocks him about the tour is the true immortality of the king of pop.
“I see kids that are probably 4 to 6 years old dressed from head to toe in a Michael outfit and dancing and doing the moonwalk,” he said. “And then you have someone in their 60s or 70s dressed up head to toe. He’s timeless across generations.”
McKinlay said there’s an energy to the show that he’s never felt on tour before, even while he was performing for “The Beatles Love,” another tribute to one of music’s greats.
“Michael is such a celebrated artist and musician,” he said. “Everyone wants to be there and they want to do Michael proud, because he had such high expectations of him and his work. We feel like we’re filling in his shoes.”
Making this show even more unique is the fact that the audience gets to interact with the performers during intermission. They teach showgoers a bit of “Beat It.” And during the performance, audience members are encouraged to be on their feet and dancing, as if they were at an actual Michael Jackson concert.
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Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Michael Jackson The Immortal’ world tour