19 December 2013

Michael Jackson: ONE to receive Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association


Click here for Michael Jackson: ONE photos
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Event Spectacular:
Michael Jackson: ONE, Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas


This live entertainment spectacle represents an electrifying achievement for Cirque du Soleil, who have found a new creative recipe for today’s electic, media-centered audiences. In ONE they’ve fused Cirque’s traditional energy with the iconic power of the King of Pop. The two make a perfect marriage; Michael was a longtime fan of Cirque’s magic, and many of his musical themes lend themselves to eclectic spectacle.

Michael Jackson: ONE dazzles at every turn, alternating between multisensory overload and lingering poetry. The show’s creators have deconstructed Michael Jackson into his essential components, both physical and emotional. A single white glove... a fedora hat... a pair of sparkle-spatted shoes... each becomes a springboard to a segment of the show that grows from that single artifact into a mind-blowing series of images. Jackson’s eternal themes find physical expression as well: the healing of Love... the power of Belief... the glory of Unity... these grand ideas combine with Michael’s iconic visuals to remind us of his essential goodness and eternal optimism, even in the face of unspoken sorrows and a life lived in the camera’s glare.

Welby Altidor
Representing Michael Jackson ONE™
at the 2014 TEA Summit on Thea Case Studies Day, April 4:

Welby Altidor, Director of Creation
Cirque du Soleil Images, Events & Lifestyle division

Welby has studied theater and communications, philosophy, political science, and literature and public relations. He played a key role in a prominent Canadian casting agency prior to joining Cirque du Soleil’s casting department in the late 1990s, eventually becoming Director of Strategic Relations, Arts, Circus and Sports and then moving on to large-scale creative projects in the Images, Events and Lifestyle division. Michael Jackson ONE™ marks his first mandate as Director of Creation for a Cirque du Soleil show.


Innovative? Yes. The show introduces a number of first-time performance technologies, including a crazy acrobatic performed on neon green elastic straps, and a manic number in which performers hurl themselves belly-first to the stage floor, then to spring high into the air like crickets. Mapped projection certainly isn’t new, but ONE kicks it into warp drive, wrapping the entire stage, proscenium and theater walls in a dizzying barrage of images that adroitly capture the essence of each song.

And while Michael himself is present throughout the show via multiscreen projection and clever costume references, when the moment finally comes (as it must) for The Gloved One to appear in a holographic-style Pepper’s Ghost illusion, it’s done with such lyrical elegance and musical precision that Michael becomes a golden sparkling spirit, blessing the show’s dancers with his magic.

Michael Jackson: ONE qualifies as themed entertainment because despite the somewhat traditional stage format, it reaches beyond the proscenium to immerse audiences visually, sonically and emotionally. [Cirque has been honored with Thea Awards in the past - in 1998 for the “O” show, and again in 2005 for the stage technology of “Ka”.]

About the Thea Awards
The Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, were created by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) to help realize a key mission of the association: bringing recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The public is welcome to attend the black-tie 20th Annual Thea Awards Gala, which will be held April 5, 2014 at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Calif. USA. Tickets may be ordered online at teaconnect.org