Angelbabe43's Blog


Dancing Inmates – Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Posted by angelbabe43 on January 28, 2010

The famous “Dancing Inmates” from Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, a maximum security prison in the Philippines, were recently treated to a visit by Michael Jackson’s long-time choreographer Travis Payne and dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid to learn performances from This Is It.

Sony Pictures’ Fritz Friedman tells USA TODAY’s Mike Snider, “We thought it would be a great idea to pay homage to MJ on the occasion of the release of This Is It by going to Cebu and having Travis work with the dancers to create this piece which is from the film.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t done in time to go on the DVD and Blu-Ray discs, which are out today. But Sony Pictures DVD did post this on YouTube.

The Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It” only showed the King of Pop dancing to “They Don’t Care About Us” with a computer-generated army for his backdrop. But with the help of the famous inmates in Cebu, that army comes to life.

Some 1,500 inmates from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center performed the number with Travis Payne, Jackson’s long-time choreographer.

This Is It was created from more than 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage shot between March and June this year while Michael Jackson rehearsed for his 50 sold-out concerts in London. He died on June 25 before he could perform in these concerts, which were slated for kick-off on July 8.
The number was called “The Drill,” the last choreography Payne and Jackson collaborated on before the King of Pop died in June 2009.

The performance was uploaded on the video-sharing site YouTube last January 22. Accessed on the morning of January 26, the video clip had already been viewed 417,610 times.

The number also showed the inmates forming a huge peace sign, possibly in remembrance of Jackson, who advocated world peace. Dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid also joined the inmates, who wore black “This Is It” shirts.

Payne visited the Cebu penitentiary last week to teach the inmates “The Drill,” which will be part of the Blu-Ray and DVD copies of “This Is It.”

Following the visit, a newspaper report quoted Payne as saying that “it is a wonderful partnership in just spreading love and peace. I think that with Jackson at the center of everything. It is really a blessing to be here.”

The Cebu inmates gained fame in 2007 after their performance of Jackson’s “Thriller” landed on cyberspace.

When Jackson died, the inmates staged another tribute to the King of Pop, where they danced to a Michael Jackson medley.

2 Responses to “Dancing Inmates – Michael Jackson’s This Is It”

  1. Tracy Spain said

    I saw the movie twice and I can´t wait to get the BR DVD. In Spain it comes out on Feb. 23rd. I´m counting the days!
    I became a fan of THIS IS IT on Facebook where they sent me this video, and the first time I saw “the drill” I couldn´t stop crying. It´s just so incredible and so emotional!
    God Bless Michael Jackson and all the people who love him.
    With all my love, Tracy *******

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