By Rachel Krueger
In the world of unlikely pairings, Cirque du Soleil and Michael Jackson is right up there with peanut butter and neoprene. Both are great; both have no business calling each other up on a rainy Saturday to hang out.
One of the more appealing aspects of the 40-year-old Cirque is that the more it changes, the more it stays somewhere along the ethereal-yet-wackily-French-Canadian continuum. No matter which of its many manifestations you plunk your change down to see, there will be contortionists in body paint and clowns on trampolines and someone will dangle from two sashes for longer than is actually worth watching.
And while I’m all for changing it up, I’m heartily against fixing what ain’t broke, as well as shoe-horning what will not be gracefully shoe-horned. Cirque has joined up with the omnipresent Michael Jackson Estate to form a new series of shows which, from the looks of the trailer
will be a mash-up of clips from This is It and the Cirque-robats wasting their trapezial talents popping and kicking and crotch-grabbing.
These aren’t the first famous coat-tails Le Cirque has attempted to ride on, and the bastards they bore with both the Elvis and Beatles franchises are the ones best forgotten. Jackson’s dance-floor tunes are even less suited to their majesti-comic atmosphere, leading me to the cynical? Nay, obvious conclusion that this is a money-grab.
You break my heart, Cirque. You are supposed to be a thing of purity and preternaturally strong ladies. Why can’t you just stand on your own bedizened feet?