In celebration of one of the greatest performers of all time, Cirque du Soleil presents Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour on January 13-15 at HP Pavilion.

The production, complete with circus acrobatics, eye-popping visuals, live music and an abundance of dancing is a loving tribute to Jackson and a realization of his desire to collaborate with Cirque du Soleil.

“Michael was a huge Cirque fan,” says Maxime Charbonneau, spokesperson and publicist for the tour. “He saw all the touring shows in L.A. and most in Vegas. He loved the artistry and all the design put into the productions.”

Although a collaboration between Jackson and Cirque du Soleil didn’t happen in Jackson’s lifetime, the team behind The Immortal respectfully included him in the production, not by trying to impersonate him, but by letting Jackson speak for himself.

“The show is driven by his voice,” says Charbonneau. “[Writer and director] Jamie King didn’t want to try to duplicate Michael Jackson,” he says, explaining that the production features recordings of Jackson talking, his videos, and his singing.

The first estate-authorized tribute to Jackson, Cirque du Soleil had access to never before heard recordings. The music designer isolated Jackson’s voice from the tracks and updated the music for a sound that Charbonneau calls “much more crisp and clear.”

Describing the show as “a hybrid between Cirque and a pop-rock concert” Charbonneau advises Cirque du Soleil fans to come to the show with an open mind because, while there are circus elements, the show is closer to a pop-rock concert.

Overlapping on several creative fronts, including imaginative and fantastical elements, extraordinary precision and timing and visionary stage performances, Jackson and Cirque du Soleil also share a common belief that the arts can change the world for the better.

“We share his love and his great messages,” Charbonneau says. “He was involved in so many social causes [and working for] equal rights. We spread his messages of unity, joy and patience. When you listen to the words, that is what Michael Jackson is trying to tell us.”

While the show introduces some new material and choreography, it is primarily a celebration of Jackson and his unique contributions pop music and culture.

“You don’t want to change too much of what is almost perfect,” says Charbonneau. “The fans that are coming to the show want to see those iconic moves. The dancers spent hours and hours perfecting the moves. There’s only one right way to do a moonwalk.”