Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm starting with the man in the mirror

So... if you've read any of my previous posts (the few of them that are there), you might know that I'm currently choreographing a musical for a local high school, BACK TO THE 80s, which is chock full of Top 40 hits from throughout the decade. This week brings the challenge that I am most nervous about... Michael Jackson.

I was a young dancer raised in the 1980's. I LOVED (and still love) the music and videos of Michael Jackson. But to face one of his most touching songs, "Man in the Mirror" and to find the right mix of reinterpretation and respectful recognition in a way that doesn't scream "tribute!" or make people want to gag on the "Michael Nostalgia" that swept the globe those first few months after his death is daunting at best. I want to do it right, and do the lyrics (and Michael's cloudy legacy) justice. After all, what could be more timely? "I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. No message could've been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change." How do you truly and honestly encompass one of the greatest musical and dance careers in entertainment in one powerful song, respecting and paying tribute to the artist, while still maintaining the momentum of the story?

So this is my challenge this week. Wish me luck.

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