He Is Here To Change the World (Again): Captain EO Returns to EPCOT

Sources: Disney Insider | All Things Michael

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In the fall of 1986 Michael Jackson came to EPCOT Center in Florida as part of “a small group, struggling to bring freedom to countless worlds of despair.” And now he’s back.

Captain EO, the breakthrough 3D science fiction adventure that starred Jackson, was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, quietly returned to EPCOT earlier this month in all of its breakdancing, stargazing glory. The 17-minute-long attraction is right where it was when it first debuted back in 1986: the Imagination Pavilion in the Futureworld West section of the park.

It’s hard to imagine how huge Captain EO was when it first came to the parks in 1986. This was Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity, five years after Thriller broke every record there was and less than a year before his equally powerful Bad would be unleashed. It was also George Lucas’ first collaboration with the Disney theme parks, three years after Return of the Jedi closed out the original Star Wars trilogy and a year before Star Tours would be joyfully jostling Disneyland attendees. And by 1986 Coppola had cemented himself as a legendary filmmaker, having already helmed the first twoGodfather films, The Conversation, and (more recently) The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. It was almost too good.

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There were a number of technical innovations that also went along with Captain EO; it is largely thought of as the first “4D” film, with in-theater effects like smoke, lasers, and a glittery star field that was draped across the theater ceiling. (In both Florida and CaliforniaCaptain EO replaced Magic Journeys, a gentle 3D fantasy.) Captain EO featured two new songs from Jackson, including one (“Another Part of Me”) that would appear on Bad. (The other, “We Are Here to Change the World,” would only be released, in truncated form, in the 2004 Jackson box set The Ultimate Collection.) Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who lensed The Conformist and would later shoot Disney’s Dick Tracy, was responsible for the 3D photography. The late, great James Horner (whose Rocketeer score we absolutely adore) provided the score. An in-depth hour-long special called Captain EO Backstage, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, premiered on The Disney Sunday Movie on ABC and another hour-long special aired from the film’s Disneyland grand opening (it was hosted by Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman along with musical guests Starship and Robert Palmer). This was it.

And it goes without saying that the film was (and still is) totally awesome. It features dancing and monsters and Anjelica Huston as a witchy, H.R. Giger-esque space princess (when Jackson compliments her appearance, she hisses, “You find meeee beautiful?”) At 17 minutes, it tells a complete story but never feels flabby or overlong; it zigs and zags and boogies with the best of them.

Back when the film opened, the Imagination Pavilion was a much different place. Journey Into Imagination, the flagship ride, was a sprawling ode to the unlimited capabilities of the human mind, and once you finished riding the attraction, you were funneled up to a play area called the Upstairs Image Works. This is where you got to interact with exhibits like a giant, colorful tunnel (that was a favorite of Jackson’s whenever he would visit the park) and a kind of color canon that would allow you to fire paintbrushes (and virtual paint) at blank canvases. When you would complete your play, you would get on an escalator that would bring you into the specially outfitted theater where Captain EO played. Walk around versions of several of the characters would mill around outside the pavilion. It was the kind of sprawling, synchronous experience that defined those heady early days of EPCOT Center.

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In 1994 Captain EO closed and a year later Honey, I Shrunk the Audience premiered. It was aired (once) on MTV in 1996 in a downscaled two-dimensional version. But after Jackson’s tragic passing in 2009, the film returned to the Imagination Pavilion theater (it also reappeared at several other parks, including Disneyland). This new version of the attraction premiered in the summer of 2010 at EPCOT and was labeled a “tribute.” It swapped some of the earlier effects for those installed for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, including a nifty gag where the floor bounces up and down as the villainess’ dark forces approach, and was digitally projected. When it returned, Captain EO was even more beautiful than when it first premiered. Audiences clapped and sung along and snapped up merchandise, including T-shirts modeled after Michael’s nifty rainbow model and plush versions of the characters.

Over the past few months, the theater has been used for a variety of purposes, mostly to exhibit upcoming Disney features like Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out. But now Captain EO is back and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s an attraction thatfeels so classically EPCOT, one that has one foot in fantasy and the other in science fiction; that is both futuristic and warmly nostalgic. It’s an attraction shares EPCOT’s view of the future as a place where anything is possible and everything is super fun. Captain EO is the story of “a ragtag band led by the infamous Captain EO,” and almost 30 years later, it’s enough to make you smile … and dance.

 

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Sapphire Resorts Group Spotlights The Best Events In Las Vegas This August

Sources: PRWeb | All Things Michael

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Vegas is known as Sin City, but there are plenty of wholesome events offered year-round. The city has no trouble attracting some of the world’s top talent and those wishing to see them perform. Though it’s always a great place to spend leisure time, this August in Las Vegas is shaping up to be one of best times to visit.Sapphire Resorts™ Group is happy to share some of the most exciting reasons to visit Vegas this summer.

1.    Aerosmith at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
Known as “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” Aerosmith has been rocking the roof off stadiums for over four decades. These Bad Boys of Boston will be opening the month of August on the 1st at the MGM Grand Garden with a one-night-only performance that is sure to be one to remember. Hear the songs that were written into our cultural consciousness played by the guys who originally performed them.

2.    Ron White at The Mirage Hotel and Casino Resort
A senior member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Ron White may not be for the kids, but he sure is funny. Ron’s style of cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking comedy is unique and his delivery unmatched. There are several chances to see “Tater Salad” this August in Vegas. He’ll be at the Mirage hotel and casino resort on the 7th, 8th, 21st and the 22nd. Bring a sense of humor and some country sensibilities to have a laughter-filled night to remember.

3.    Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson One at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
Sapphire Resorts™ Group knows that the late Michael Jackson had a lasting, profound influence on our culture in many ways. Cirque du Soleil pays homage in this synthesis of dance, music, visuals and acrobatics. Hear Jackson’s music as never before in this stunning display of artistry which seemingly summons the spirit of Michael. One is playing throughout the month of August at the Mandalay Bay resort. Read more here

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Administrator’s Note: This show is ongoing and not just for August. MJ One will celebrate Michael’s birthday on August 29th.

SHOW SCHEDULE

Performances

Friday – Tuesday 7:00p.m. & 9:30p.m.
(Only 4:30p.m. & 7:00p.m. performances on July 4, October 4, October 11, October 25, November 1, November 8, November 15, November 22, November 29)

Dark days are Wednesday and Thursday.

Michael Jackson ONE will not perform on the following dates in 2015:

  • August 11
  • October 14 – 22
  • December 15

Added performances in 2015:

  • August 6
  • August 19
  • November 25
  • December 30

 

Who’s Bad Returns To Model City Music Fest For Free Concert

Sources: Anniston Star – By Alexandra Woolbright | All Things Michael

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The Michael Jackson tribute band that played Anniston’s Model City Music Festival concert series in 2012 will return for a performance Friday.

Lee May, owner of the CD Cellar in downtown Anniston and an organizer of the festival, said that after seeing how much people enjoyed the 2012 show, he asked Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band to return to Zinn Park.

Friday’s show is free and open to all ages. Gates open at 7 p.m. Friday in Zinn Park, and food and drink vendors will be on site.

The concert series is sponsored in part by the city of Anniston, as well as organizations like the Calhoun County Commission, Regional Medical Center and Anniston Water Works.

May said the events aim to bring people to downtown Anniston so they can patronize local shops and restaurants.

“We want to raise the level of Anniston,” he said.

Acts like Midnight Star and Blues Traveller have played Model City Music Fest, and May said he’s excited to bring back Who’s Bad.

“It’s a dynamic show,” May said.

According to Raymond McCall, trumpet player and tour manager for Who’s Bad, the show will feature a variety of Jackson’s greatest hits—from “Thriller” to “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

“It’s high energy,” McCall said. “It comes with the glove and the moonwalk — everything that people remember about his music and his performance.”

The band, formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has 10 members, including six musicians, two dancers, and two frontmen who are the “Michaels,” McCall said.

McCall said the band is excited about the upcoming show and ready to put on a great performance.

“It’s always fun to be a part of an event where everyone comes together,” he said.

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Rhythm On Stage: Videodance Michael Jackson’s “Bad”

Sources: The Daily Texan | Ballet Austin | All Things Michael

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Rhythm on Stage, a free instructional dance series courtesy of the Long Center of Performing Arts and Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, invites Austinites of all ages to learn to dance on the stage of a grand concert hall. This week, learn the moves from Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit Bad,” made famous by the Martin Scorsese-directed music video starring Wesley Snipes.

Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. For directions, click here.

Date: July 21, 2015

Time: 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

Upcoming Workshops At Ballet Austin:

Videodance™ MJ’S THRILLER!

Date: 9/29/2015 – 10/20/2015  From: 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Room: AVStudioTheater

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND… Find your inner zombie and learn one of the most requested choreographies ever made…THRILLER!

The THRILLER workshop is offered on Tuesdays for 4 weeks or Thursdays for 4 weeks. Both workshops will culminate in one huge Thriller Zombie dance class and flashmob on Tuesday, October 27 at Ballet Austin and beyond! (optional but you won’t want to miss the zombie fun of dancing with the mob!

If you have always wanted to learn the famous moves from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, or if this is an annual tradition and you just want to polish your moves, then this workshop is for you!

This 4-week workshop will break down the Thriller choreography in sections and put together a full group routine by the final night.

By the end of four weeks you will know the entire routine well enough to be the hit at the Halloween party and impress your ghoulish friends.

Everyone welcome, from the complete beginner with no dance experience, to those who’ve been dancing all their lives.

So…revive a group of your zombie friends, dress up in your vintage Lycra and grab your sweatpants cause this will be HOT and take you back in time!

4-Weeks. $65
Workshop is non-refundable and non-transferable.

 

Videodance™ Janet Jackson’s RHYTHM NATION! 

Date: 8/25/2015 – 9/22/2015  From: 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

>oom: AVStudioTheater

A 5-week Videodance™ featuring the choreography of Janet Jackson’s RHYTHM NATION!

Sure to get you dancing beyond your living room!

Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson, and is still a favorite today. Such fun choreography to learn!

Not a dance technique class, but rather, Videodance™ focuses on ‘workshopping dance’. Experience what it’s like to put together a music video and dance it out with the crowd! We’ll turn up the music, teach you the moves, and you will have the time of your life!Open to all levels. It’s both dancer-friendly and non-dancer friendly. Learn the choreography full out or modify the steps as you feel comfortable. It’s just tons of fun!

Join Tara and Jenny and learn choreography and have a great time dancing.

5 weeks. $70.

Workshops are non-refundable and non-transferable after enrollment.

To sign up CLICK HERE

 

Richard Smikle To Host Thriller Live Master Class At Rooftop Studios

Sources: Rooftop Studio | All Things Michael

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Rooftop Studios will play host to two Masterclasses with professional stage performers this summer, offering newcomers and budding stars some top tips and insights into how to get ahead in the industry.

The Masterclasses will form part of part of the school’s Summer Holiday Club, which runs from Monday, August 10th to Friday, August 14th. They will be led by two of the studio’s many industry contacts; London-based choreographer Alex Scurr, whose C.V. includes dance performances for film and television, and West End star Richard Smikle who, born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent, has gone on to star in the hit Michael Jackson musical ‘Thriller’.

Alex will take the first of the Masterclasses on Tuesday, August 11th, offering two age-specific choreography sessions (7-11 year old from 10.45 am – 12.15 pm and 12+ year olds from 1pm – 2.30 pm). In addition to performing, Alex has taught at various theatre schools, colleges and dance studios in both London and Australia. His class would be extremely beneficial for anyone wishing to go into further stage and/or dance training and work with someone of his standard.

On Thursday, August 13thlocal lad Richard Smirkle will again showcase his ‘Thriller Live’ Workshop, in age-specific classes in the morning and afternoon. This is a must for dance fans and wannabe stars as Richard will demonstrate original Michael Jackson choreography, as well as signature moves and dances used in the WEST END show! Richard has a fantastic pedigree, having left Staffordshire for London aged just sixteen and gone on to feature as a member of the original cast of THRILLER LIVE dancing with the likes of GIRLS ALOUD, THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS, DUFFY, JLS and many more.

Limited places are available on the Masterclasses, which can be booked on a standalone basis at £15 each. Classes will be run from Rooftop Studios, High Street Arcade, Stone, Staffs, ST15 8AU. To book, please contact Laura on 07966 539 555 or email info@rooftopstudios.co.uk

 

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LEGACY: TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON

Sources: Spirit Mountain | All Things Michael

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Michael Jackson’s electric stage presence, dance moves, and unforgettable music has made his one of the world’s most recognizable entertainment icons. On August 7-8, 2015, Spirit Mountain Casino is honored to celebrate a lifetime of musical magic with Legacy: A Tribute to Michael Jackson.

Jackson’s contributions to pop music began when he wasn’t even old enough to drive. At just eight years old, he and his siblings created The Jackson 5, which took the entertainment scene by storm. We’re sure you know all the lyrics to “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “I’ll Be There.” His childhood fame became a lifetime of accomplishment as a musician and performer.

Jackson still holds the best-selling album of all time, which he’s successfully held title since 1982. Some other notable achievements include:

– The popularization of the Moonwalk

– 13 Grammy Awards and 26 American Music Awards – more than any other musician in history.

– One of the only artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He holds the crown as the most awarded artist in the history of music.

If you never experienced “Thriller” live, or you’re dying to see a rendition of “Beat It” or “Billie Jean” on the stage, this is your chance. Legacy is the most faithful celebration of Jackson’s work. You’re in store for an evening of unforgettable music and epic performances.

Come out and celebrate the King of Pop with Spirit Mountain Casino at the Main Event Center! Tickets start at just $15 and are on sale now: Buy yours today to secure a spot at this extra-special event.

 

Sources: Spirit Mountain Casino | All Things Michael

Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson At The Ravinia Festival

Sources: Arteyvida Chicago | All Things Michael

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Ravinia presents a unique concert experience with Tony Succar’s Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, featuring Tony Succar, Jean Rodriguez, Michael Stuart and others TBA.

Hear Jackson’s timeless pop and R&B tunes, such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “I Want You Back,” reinterpreted into glorious salsa and tropical rhythms with innovative, vibrant arrangements that snap to life with exhilarating energy. It is sure to be a night to remember at Ravinia Festival.

The Unity  album is a passion project of Peruvian-born, Miami-raised producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Tony Succar and combines the talent of such Latin superstars as Tito Nieves, La India, Jon Secada, and Obie Bermúdez with over a hundred musicians and the mixing magic of Jackson’s longtime engineer Bruce Swedien for the premier Latin-album salute to the legacy of the “King of Pop.”

Also, the first 50 ticket buyers using promo code SUCCAR will win a meet-and-greet with Unity mastermind Tony Succar. 

When: July 19, 2015, 7:00 pm

Where: Ravinia Festival, 400 Iris Lane, Highland Park, IL

Price: Tickets: $50/40 Lawn: $20** Lawn ticket prices are increased by $5 on the day of the concert

Get Tickets: Ravinia

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Michael Jackson Flash Mob And Tribute Theme At The 2015 FIH2 International Festival Of Hip Hop In Brazil

Sources: Written by All Things Michael | FIH2

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Now in its 14th year, the FIH2 International Festival of of Hip Hop, held its annual celebration of dance and urban culture on July 10 – 12 at the Teatro Positivo in Curitiba. In addition to presentations and competitions that attracted about 2000 subscribers, there were lectures, exhibitions and workshops. In total, the public event reached 7000 people. This year’s festival tribute featured the most iconic dancer and singer of our time, the legendary Michael Jackson!

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“He was the first to put the dance on television, my generation started with him,” says the organizer of the international festival, Octavio Nassur.

Octavio Nassur

Octavio Nassur

In the festival entrance, visitors experienced the “Thriller Gallery,” in tribute to Michael’s record breaking hit. The public leisure area known as Dance City, was decorated with themes from the singer’s super hits as well as comfort lounges like “Beat It Lounge” and “Black or White” for example.

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The festival opening on July 10th began with 200 students dancing simultaneously to an eight minute soundtrack of MJ hits. The flash mob was held in Boca Maldita, downtown Curitiba. The visibility was augmented with the use of 14 by 5 meter screens upstage and side screens to provide the idea of ​​depth.

Also new this year, grants were awarded to participants and workshops focused attention on recycling, the risks of drugs and alcohol awareness and environmental entrepreneurship. The lectures conducted by managers of several innovative companies.   “We embrace this year as a social cause,” says Nassur.  “We demand the economic sustainability of the dance class. Culture has money. What we do not have is access to it, We have to decrease the perception of dance as a hobby, and enhance the profession.”

Ed Morales, choreographer to celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, hosted a workshop and served as one of the competition judges.  Other world competition dancers featured were Babson, Alisson Jordan, Marina Ahumada, Cat Cogliandro and Jose Rodrigues.

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Visit: http://www.fih2.com.br/