Some Things Are Immortal

Thriller_2848_2075_ROne of the most recognized theatrical-circus brands in the world is bringing their big top down under, but this time around it’s a slightly different offering to what audiences are used to from Cirque Du Soleil.

Katie Cameron caught up with performer Tina Cannon to hear what it’s like working in the company and her experiences with the production Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.

Cannon has been with Cirque for the past five years, initially auditioning for The Beatles: Love in Las Vegas in 2008 and now working on the touring production of Immortal.

“It was like nothing I had ever experienced before,” she said “you do a lot of improvisation, a lot of character work, they really explore your limits and your potential as an artist.”

As many Cirque audience members can attest, the company’s productions push the limits of not only creative story telling but theatre mechanics, acrobatics and pyrotechnics.

The Immortal show combines slick choreography with pop-show theatrics highlighting some of the late King of Pop’s contributions to music and popular culture.

Cannon explained it can be tricky during the first run of a particular show, working out all the logistics and technical maneuvers, but once that’s set, there is simply practice.

“I flew from Las Vegas to Montreal and spent two weeks learning the show and then (from there) I flew out to Stockholm and joined the show and within a week they had integrated me in,” she said.

Cannon’s relaxed nature yet professional approach is reflected in her impressive resume; originally from Rochester in New York she’s trained in ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, hip hop and modern dance.

She’s appeared as an original cast member of Celine Dion’s production A New Day, been a Radio City Rockette, danced on The Oprah Winfrey Show, performed with Justin Timberlake at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and been a guest artist on the finale of America’s Got Talent.

Cannon warms herself up before shows with about half an hour of stretching but said it’s the elaborate makeup that can often take the most time.

“After a couple of hundred shows in, I’ve gotten a lot faster, I probably started at about 45 minutes and now I could get it down to about 25 minutes,” she said.

The Immortal show also features one of her favorite costumes that she wears during the performance of Smooth Criminal.

“It’s a beautiful red glittery dress. They’re like fringe dresses of the time period and I feel the most beautiful in that costume and the most feminine,” she said.

Although one of the most highly regarded and well known theatrical companies in the world with a strong safety record and a well-known culture of looking after their performers, the question had to be posed to Cannon, has anything gone wrong during a show?

“It’s the nature of any live show. It’s always a new show and of course I’ve had times when I’ve tripped,” she said.

“You have those funny moments where your foot gets caught in your costume, I’ve had that before, but I think that it keeps it interesting and real… you just have to laugh at yourself and hopefully not too many people saw you in the audience.”

Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Immortal’ is at the Perth Arena from September 18 -22.

 Katie Cameron


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