“There’s a spirit of joy and communion that gets inside you and you want to just let it all out. In my dance, I let the song tell me what to do. I really let it talk to me.”
“I dance to discover new things…where I can go with my body.”
“I would just get up and do my thing, but every so often I would look up and be dazzled by how naturally and how fluidly he worked. He was genuinely great to witness in person. Michael was the embodiment of music.”
“He touched his audiences, whether you were in the arena or watching on a video…it doesn’t matter what the nature of the context is…you’re holding his hand and our hearts are beating at that same rhythm and that’s why he’s loved so much.”
“A body that forgets its fetters, its weight, freeing it from all social mimicry, from all gravity and conformity.”
~intimacy…a personal relationship with another person or group
a deep understanding of a subject, place, history
sexual familiar act
affectionate in a personally pleasing way
the inmost depths of the mind
Random House Dictionary
If asked, I would simply define intimacy in two words: MICHAEL JACKSON…along with the words of J.D. Salenger, “He wasn’t doing a thing that I could see except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.
I made myself a promise when I began writing CHOSENVOICES that I would do all I could to allow Michael to speak for himself, committing my energies to gathering a repository of the truths he offered the world. Elizabeth Taylor said that Michael was honest to the point of pain. That is a statement heavy with layers of understanding. Travis Payne talked about the fact that everything in Michael’s world was bigger. Michael himself believed that if you weren’t going to do it big…don’t bother. At the beginning of each and every project Michael undertook, he told everyone working with him that he wanted this project to be the biggest and very best there ever was. Is it any wonder that with 2015 marking the sixth year of my writing, I have only scratched the surface of Michael’s enormity. I have spent days wondering how I would write about his dance, and, I promise you, I have only scratched the surface of its profoundness. With pages and pages of research strewn everywhere in my little writing studio, I have decided to give it a try. With the depth and scope of Michael’s catalog, many have and will in future, write their analysis of its meaning. History will continue to reveal the intricacies of the man’s genius, trying to unravel his thought processes. I will leave that to others.
Michael Jackson is the only force that can inspire people across the world to dance and celebrate in unison. When creating, he said, “It starts in this room and it goes all over the world.” He often watched tapes of gazelles and cheetahs and panthers to imitate the natural grace of their movements. Having the gift of being able to see a dance or movement and immediately do it…Michael was a dancer in his soul. It was not about thinking or counting…it was a matter of feeling. “Michael Jackson is more than just an extraordinary, fantastic dancer. He is music. He is voice. He is soul…gifted beyond words and a timeless gift to humanity.” Dorit Koppel
“Great music is immortal. It’s forever for generations and generations to appreciate. That’s what drives me…it’s art, I love it. This is the world I’m most comfortable in. You can’t teach it. It’s a gift. It comes from inside. I feel it. I see it. I’m a visionary with my music and dance.”
“I just love working on it, sweating over it, sharing it with people and having them love it. And, I always pray that they will love it and that’s what gives me great satisfaction as an artist. I’ve always loved to dance. When I was real little, I used to watch Sammy Davis Jr., Fred Astaire and James Brown and just dance about the house.”
Watching a Michael Jackson performance can only be described as a personal journey…a journey that actively engages. It is impossible to be passive when spending time with Michael. His vulnerability connects to audiences of every age, every culture, every race, women and men. It is artistry that can only be understood as tapestry…layers upon layers of wonderment. Innocent children flock to Michael. But, it doesn’t end there. Michael’s appeal touches all ages. His vulnerability is real and connects us with every human condition. It translates into sensuality. Just ask females across the planet how they feel during a performance. Anyone who doubts Michael’s maleness and sexuality hasn’t been paying attention. Within his innocence lies a roaring fire. A gifted storyteller, Michael’s music, lyrics, arrangements, films and dance reveal a man who completely understands and has experienced love between a man and a woman. The translation includes love in all forms. But, let’s remember audience diversities. His music and dance convey sexual love, yes. But, both his voice and body evoke innocent love and spiritual love…love that empowers people, inspiring activism. Complete understanding of Michael Jackson is a journey of a lifetime, for a lifetime. The beauty is that the more we sift through the layers, the more we learn about ourselves…and, the better we feel.
This is intimacy with its innermost depths of understanding. Michael’s passion awakens our own. The other day, I was listening to a variety of music, a pleasant enough experience. But, when Michael’s music came on, I noticed that every person within the sound of it stopped…I mean really stopped! We were all actively engaged. Why?…the layers of sound, the layers of voice, the magnificent musical arrangements, the lead and background vocals, the storytelling, the emotion…NOTHING ELSE MATCHES IT. We all came away from the experience marveling…saying,”The man is a genius!” Beyond that, however, Michael gave us something to think about. Long after the music is done, Michael’s passion stays with us and becomes our own. THAT IS A MASTER AT WORK. He gives life to people through his music and dance, inspiring change. We are bathed in his energy, his intimacy. He takes our breath. He gives himself to us, unconditionally, offering us large thoughts. We feel him. When explaining how people all over the world are the same, Michael talked about how no matter where in the world he was, audiences reacted, crying in the same places, fainting in the same places. Through Michael we have learned about universal humanity.
Just for a moment, let’s turn the sound off. Audiences that flocked to Michael came not only for the music, but for his dance, loving to watch him move. His body was a canvas. He looked magnificent in whatever wearable art he wore. Beyond that, every movement gave language to the story he was telling. While his voice passionately told the story…his body embraced the same story…movement without words.
The sweetest temptation that walked the planet.
Michael Jackson…the only fully-clothed man who could get a woman excited without even touching her.
Making love through dance at a sensual level with no vulgarity.
Seduction at its finest.
He reeked sex.
“I sing about things that are loving, and if people interpret it as sexy, that’s up to them. I let the music tell me what to do. But, it’s not sexual at all.”
“When I think about it, I would never say this on TV, but, if I went on stage thinking about what goes through women’s heads, I would never go out on stage. If I was suddenly to start thinking about what they were thinking about sex or what I looked like naked, Oh God, that would be so embarrassing. I could never go out…that’s horrible.”
“He touched his audiences, whether you were in the arena, whether you watched the video, it doesn’t matter what the nature of the context is, you’re holding his hand and our hearts are beating at the same rhythm…and, that’s why he’s so loved.”
DISCOVERING MICHAEL JACKSON with Amalia Amaki
As we watch Michael without sound, his body giving us stories appealing to every human condition, we realize that every part of him, every muscle, every fiber of his being reveals truth. We interpret the language of his hands, his feet, his entire being…and, then, we gaze at his face, eyes closed. Is it any wonder there are literally thousands of still pictures of his beautiful face during performance, for the entire range of human story is found there. With passionate sincerity and intimacy, we are personally moved. “I love the whole world of dance because dancing is really the emotions through bodily movement. And, however you feel, you just bring out that inner feeling through your mood. A lot of people don’t think about the importance of it, but there’s a whole psychology thing to just letting everything loose. Dancing is important…like laughing, to back off tension…escapism…It’s great.” Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson has reached the entire world with his music…his body was a vessel through which he channeled his passion and messages for the world…a life force of love. A personal relationship with his audiences, his understanding of human history, his sexual liberty, his innermost depths of affection all spin wildly into his dance.
“GRINNING, DUCKING MY HEAD FOR BALANCE, I START TO SPIN WILDLY AS I CAN. THAT IS MY FAVORITE DANCE, BECAUSE IT CONTAINS A SECRET. THE FASTER I TWIRL, THE MORE I AM STILL INSIDE. MY DANCE IS ALL MOTION WITHOUT, ALL SILENCE WITHIN. AS MUCH AS I LOVE TO MAKE MUSIC, IT’S THE UNHEARD MUSIC THAT NEVER DIES. AND SILENCE IS MY REAL DANCE, THOUGH IT NEVER MOVES. IT STANDS ASIDE, MY CHOREOGRAPHER OF GRACE, AND BLESSES EACH FINGER AND TOE.”
DANCING THE DREAM
Whatever layer of Michael’s tapestry to storytelling, whatever layer of Michael’s body as canvas, whatever layer of Michael’s dance…we personally celebrate. We are mesmerized, our passions stirred. He draws us into his pain and into his glories revealing ultimate truths. His intimacy empowers ours. With Michael, we are DANCING THE DREAM.
National Museum of Dance
HALL OF FAME
The first inductee from the world of Rock and Roll
April 15, 2010
“In fact, what sets Jackson apart is that he positively wrung feeling out of his performances; both his voice and his body dripped with passion, pulling us into a world of sensuality so intense, impossible for most of the rest of us to express, or maybe even feel. He modeled it for us and to show us that it was possible to burn this brightly.”
Susan Fast DANGEROUS
Thank you, Michael, for giving every ounce of blood, sweat and God-given talent.
We love you! You empower us, inspire us, and give us hope.
WE ARE TRANSFORMED.
Thank you Jude for this introspective of this fabulous man!
Another fabulous post Jude Thankyou as always. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful . there are many , many dancers “out there”, who experts would say are technically better than Michael.. and who spend their whole life learning their craft and give amazing performances. Yet they don’t hold a candle to him.. it has to be something to do with Michael’s inner being which embraces us all,, I do so agree with your use of the word intimacy,and he is just so “unquantifiable”. I never tire of listening to his music , reading about him.. searching for photos, and videos of his performances and rehearsals , listening to him speak. and on.. and on.
Dear Jude I wish you a very happy 2015 and beyond,and thank you so much fir this wonderful blog. Sue xx
Dear Jude. I love this, it’s so very true <3 You always find the right words to describe him <3
…one more 🙂
„…and, then, we gaze at his face, eyes closed.“
That’s something that always hits me when I watch him perform. There are long sequences during Billie Jean, where he dances with his eyes closed. For me it feels like he’s closing his eyes to go to a very private place…to go „inside“, It feels like he shuts the audience off (a little bit like that „I don’t see you so you don’t see“ me thing..) – but at the same time he takes you with into this world. It’s hard to describe. It feels like a very intimate moment, like you come very close to him, you enter a private place… I imagine how it feels to dance with closed eyes: You don’t see the audience, but you surely feel them, maybe even more than with eyes open. And it shows how comfortable he felt on stage, like beein „at home“ in a safe place…
Karen Langford made a comment on that in the BAD 25 Documentary:
„He made it all look so simple, he made it all look so natural, and he really worked so hard to do that. I remember watching him on stage perform, and how he would just glide and make it seem like the music was just going through him – I mean, he would close his eyes and walk across the stage. And I sometimes wondered to myself, he could fall, he could trip, he doesn’t know where he’s going… but he never did.“ – Karen Langford (bad25)
He is music….he is dance…..when he sings and dances nothing else exists….all else disappears.
I just watched a few videos of certain songs of Michael’s. Somehow I never tire of him, his singing or dancing! It is always new, always fresh! Michael on stage was absolutely spellbinding! An experience! How I wish those experiences could be repeated! One day I shall be able to see and hear him again! And I look forward to that!
There isn’t now and never was anyone like Michael…he was SO SPECIAL! I can only just wish he were here again….There was nothing he could not do…dance, sing, draw, paint, create incredible shows…and cook! I loved him so much, and still do!