Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P, M.J.

As I'm sure you are all aware, Michael Jackson died today at age 50. Now, regardless of his personal life, you cannot have been a child of the 80's and not have been influenced by M.J.  I can still do every beat of the "Thriller" choreography, spent hours perfecting the moonwalk, and still get excited when I hear the opening notes to "Billie Jean". As a dancer, his influence on the dance world was HUGE. He was one of the most captivating performers that has ever graced a stage and had a talent like no other. 
I am well-aware of his personal life. As a person, I would not have liked to have known him. He was out there, freaky, and mangled. He made a gigantic mess out of his life. However, I totally can separate the man from the art. In my line of work, I find this necessary. I can love someone's contribution to art and society and not condone their way of life. I was really turned off by a comment I received from a GA's wife while I was in London (BYU study abroad). She asked us what we had been doing while there, and I listed off all the ballet, theatre, and museums that I had seen. I went on and on about how beautiful and exciting it was to be so close to such great culture. All she could do was go on and on about how most artist's lives are "so evil". I couldn't understand why she couldn't see the beauty and had to make sure I knew she wasn't condoning their lifestyles. It is stuff like that that makes mormons look bad. Some of the greatest dance teachers that I have learned the most from are beautiful artists, people I love being around, but do have troubled personal lives. 
So, Rest in Peace, Michael. You were a thrill.


Bill said...

I Love Michael...always have...always will. I remember the night when he did the 1st "moonwalk" performing "Billie Jean" - we were freaking out!
I Must of watched Thriller a thousand times.
Favorite Song: "Can't Stop 'til You Get Enough"
Favorite Video: "Beat It"
Favorite Album: "Off the Wall"
Favorite Momment: The Moonwalk Favorite Video Costar: That girl from "The Way You Make Me Feel" - "You knock me off of my feet now Baby!"

Thanks Mike!

Ashley said...

Great post. I agree that the most talented, incredible artists (writers, singers, etc.) throughout history have almost always been on the verge of insanity--and sometimes they have in fact gone off the deep end. It's what makes them great somehow. I also separate--Elton John is my fav--though personally he's been a struggling mess too! I loved MJ. He is the best dancer I have ever seen.

Cindy said...

When I heard that he died yesterday I was shocked! I actually looked at Jay and said...."Did they just say that Michael Jackson is dead?". It was one of those surreal moments because it was so unexpected. I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan....but I had a roommate in college who was. We would have ABBA dance nights and she would have her own solo version to Michael....we'd get in on the action every once in a while times!

brooke said...

amen! I will always love Michael. I dressed up as MJ and performed his thrilled dance at an assembly in high school. That was back when it was still okay to paint my face black. I got a lot of attention for it and it was one of those memories from hs I will never forget. No one, no one will ever be able to dance like Michael. He was a gift!

pan x 8 said...

Michael Jackson is probably someone I will always remember from when I first started listening to music!

Monika said...

I love the "Smooth Criminal" video the best. I always wondered how he did that awesome lean move until Chip told me he had patented some shoes to make it possible. We watched videos on VH1 all weekend -- yes we are that lame. Chip didn't even know about the Pepsi commercial incident until yesterday -- what planet was he living on? He didn't even believe me and googled it. Geez!

Marrdy said...

Ah, Billie Jean. Do you remember when he did this at the 30th Anniversary of Motown (I think). I still get goose bumps...need to go visit YouTube now! Poor Michael had a pretty screwed up life right from the beginning! And 50 is WAY TOO YOUNG!

Lee,Rebekah said...

so sad that such a legend has passed on. he was amazing! thanks for posting this.

Jensen Family said...

Well put. I can respect Michael for his talent, but not condone his personal life. I think so many of the brilliant artists and musicians are just a little bit out there to most of society, but I think maybe their gift comes from some of the hard things they have gone through. And look at the beauty they have given the rest of us. The contribution Michael Jackson made will LONG be remembered.