Inspired by the King of Pop

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THE music of Michael Jackson captured the attention of South African performer Dantanio at the age of 9 – and he’s been influenced by it ever since.

“My first introduction to Michael Jackson’s music was waking up one Saturday morning and watching my big brother dancing in the lounge to Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” Dantanio said.

“That really just did something to me inside, so much so when he used to go to work I used to steal his tapes and copy what I saw him doing.”

By the time he was 10, Dantanio could do the Moonwalk and soon began performing mini shows on his front porch.

“Children passing by would throw coins. My cousins would pick up the coins while I was dancing to Billie Jean – it was cool.”

Dantanio loves Jackson’s music because of its honesty, integrity and passion.

“There’s meaning behind all of Michael’s songs, especially the self-composed and written material. If you listen to a song like Liberian Girl it’s so sincere, and the expression in it. The honesty in Michael’s music is what really compels me.”

This month Dantanio will bring his Michael Jackson moves to the Civic Theatre stage, with Showtime Australia’s production The Michael Jackson HIStory Show.

After performing Jackson’s music at a corporate level both at home in South Africa and abroad, Dantanio said he was looking to take his act to the world stage. He posted some of his videos online and soon after won this role of the “King of Pop” in 2014.

“I got involved with the tour during a transition with the production. Showtime Australia had been doing it for about three years and the lead performer was retiring.”

The high-energy, family-friendly production included about 20 costume changes, four dancers, a six-piece band, and technical and lighting crews, he said.

Music from throughout Jackson’s career was performed, including the Jackson 5, and albums including Thriller, Dangerous and HIStory.

“This is really to relive and to continue the music and the magic of Michael Jackson – one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

“It’s a spectacle because we’re trying to capture the live element that was Michael Jackson… We want to give the audience that Michael Jackson experience from the first song… to the very last song.”

Saturday, February 24, 8pm, Civic Theatre, Invercargill. Tickets available from TicketDirect.

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