Travis Payne was working on the choreography of ‘This Is It,’ with Michael and Kenny Ortega, when Michael passed away. In an interview in philly.com he spoke of Michael’s plans for the show when the 50 shows in London were completed.
“Kuala Lumpur was to be the next stop! Michael wanted to revolutionize the way tours were being done. He was always thinking like a great producer, too. He was telling us we needed to design a way to maximize the audience that could see him with less travel time for him and the company. So he proposed setting up the show for two or three months in a single location, make that a portal, as opposed to being on a plane, jumping from city to city, twice a week.”
“And why Kuala Lumpur, the most populous city in Malaysia, and other locations on Michael’s portal wish list in India and the Republic of Sri Lanka?
“Just as he did on the HIStory tour, when we went to Northern Africa, the idea was to set up in a region that was struggling and could really benefit economically from having us there. Everything Michael did came from a place of love, and the commitment to do good. That’s the way he was with us working on the show – you felt like you were being nurtured, constantly stimulated and encouraged to come up with the best ideas in a collective situation.
“And that’s where his art was coming from,” added Travis. “His concept was not just to make a great song you could dance to. His way was to reel you in and get your attention, so then you’d get the deep message. That was the science to it. That’s why his music transcended generations, appealed to little children, older people, everyone. And hopefully, people who see the Cirque show are now feeling all that, too. That was our intent.”