Feature: Michael Jackson

Friday 31 July 2009

*Swedish dance group Bounce (who return to the Peacock Theatre 15 Sep – 3 Oct
09) have been busy on the streets of Stockholm with a tribute to Michael Jackson – and are encouraging other cities to do the same.* They recruited 300 volunteers who turned up, learned the routine in 30 minutes
and performed it less than an hour later. A mass moonwalk at Liverpool Street
Station in London the day after Jackson’s death was thwarted by police who insisted
that it take place on the street outside.

*Michael Jackson is often mentioned as a major influence on dancers and choreographers.
Here’s just a few we’ve found the day after his death was announced (Thursday 25 Jun 09) We’ll be adding more in the next few days.*

Akram Khan Akram Khan, choreographer & dancer **“My mother inspired me initially. Also as a child I was very influenced by Michael Jackson – I kind of wanted to move in that way.” Londondance.com online chat 2003
“I was very isolated because everyone else was academic and I was just into Michael Jackson. I used to learn all the choreography. I would spend two hours every day going over Thriller, watching that video. Technically, Jackson’s not the most amazing dancer, but he had this charisma – he would stand on stage and a million people would watch him. He could hold an audience. That’s a technique you can’t
obtain, it’s just in you.” Read more in the Telegraph, 1 Mar 08
‘He wasn’t the first person to do the moonwalk, but he was the one who made it memorable – and he was the first to create that marriage between pop and dance. It changed everything.’ Read more in the Guardian, 27 Jun 09

*Sanjoy Roy, dance writer “Without Thriller I wouldn’t have gone to see Ballet Rambert, wouldn’t have started watching dance, wouldn’t have started writing about it. Of course Thriller didn’t actually determine the path, lighting up the paving stones to show me the way. But it did help me find my feet.” Read more in Guardian, 12 Dec 09

Sanjoy’s pick of Michael Jackson on youtube

‘A mark of a great dancer, he made any movement he did look completely his own.’ New York Daily News, 29 Jun 09

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