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Michael Jackson’s life always was a bit of a circus. Now, with the help of Cirque du Soleil, his songs can get in on the act.

“Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour,” will moonwalk its way to the Patriot Center in Fairfax on Friday and Saturday, March 21 and March 22.

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, and Saturday, March 22

Where: Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax

Tickets: $62.55-$196.50 with Ticketmaster fees

For information: 703-993-3000; patriotcenter.com

The show boasts a full range of songs by the King of Pop, from “Beat It” and “Thriller,” to “Scream” and “Jam.” More than 35 songs in all are featured throughout the show.

This show will mark the first time dancer Tammy To has worked with Cirque du Soleil. Previously, To has performed with singers Fergie and Celine Dion and danced with the Radio City Rockettes during their Christmas Spectacular.

The Cirque du Soleil show, however, has really been different, according to To.

“To be able to do something this massive and to travel to so many different countries and to perform for so many MJ fans, it’s been a really unique and amazing experience,” To said.

Being a dancer in Los Angeles, To had worked with some of the choreographers and directors for the “IMMORTAL” show before. When she heard there were going to be auditions for this event, To knew she had to be a part of it.

To said she grew up as a Jackson fan. As a dancer, being a fan means a little more, as Jackson was known for creating dance moves.

“He was so iconic,” To said. “I think it’s every dancer’s dream to dance to as much MJ as possible.”

There is no doubt Jackson was an extremely colorful character, which is evident by his songs, his moves and even his choice of pets. Cirque du Soleil has opened the big box of Crayons to bring as much color and life into all of the different segments of the show.

Of course, there are mummies and spooky creatures dancing during “Thriller,” but there also are pole dancers for “Dangerous,” robots covered in LEDs dancing for “They Don’t Care About Us,” and performers dressed up like machines attached to machines in, well, “Dancing Machine.”

The performers started rehearsing the show in Montreal in May 2011, according to To. The show went live there in October, just five months later. Since then, the Michael Jackson cavalcade has traversed across the globe.

Fans around the world continue to flock to the Cirque du Soleil performances simply because they love Jackson and his work. To believes it’s easy to understand why — Jackson was an intergenerational phenomenon.

“I’ve been doing this show for almost two years now and no matter where we go, you see audience members from young to old,” To said. “Everyone in the audience is dancing. Even now, to see young, young kids dressed up in the fedora and the glove, there’s something about his music that really, I think, touches every generation. It’s kind of timeless. There’s something [there] that makes it really magical and universal.”

Overall, To said the goal of the Cirque du Soleil show is to honor the legacy of Jackson through dance, his songs and the grand spectacle that he would have loved.

“We really come out here and every artist on that stage, every crew member, every cast member, we’ve all been together for so long and we always have to remind ourselves that we’re here honoring him, honoring his music, honoring his life’s work,” To said. “You feel that when you’re out on stage. You feel like people needed a show like this. Just something for people to enjoy.”



wfranklin@gazette.net