On September 30, Kingvention – The European Michael Jackson Convention will make its 3rd outing in London celebrating Michael’s incredible Live career. One of this year’s special guests is principal dancer Eddie Garcia who on September 29, will run a special MJ Dance Masterclass in London as an additional part of Kingvention.
In anticipation for the event, I caught up with Eddie to talk about his coming to London for the first time in over 20 years and also why he’s chosen to teach Thriller at workshop.
The great thing about Eddie is he’s always a pleasure to speak with; so upbeat and full of life.
Since we announced the MJ Dance Masterclass was to feature Thriller as the routine to learn, some fans reached out to ask why Thriller was the chosen routine.
I put the question to Eddie
“Well firstly, Thriller is one of Michael’s routines that’s a complete routine. If you take say, Smooth Criminal, it’s formed of short segments with us (the dancers) going one way, Michael walking the other, a bit of posing…Whereas Thriller has a full routine.”
The choreography was created by the late Michael Peters and Michael Jackson and so when Eddie told me “It’s the routine that Michael himself taught me!” I had to clarify which Michael we were speaking of…
“Jackson! Michael Jackson taught me the Thriller routine. It was me and the 4 others dancers and a VHS and Michael taught us that routine.” It was because of Michael’s personal teaching of the routine that Eddie wanted to pass on to the fans, the way in which the King of Pop had taught him.
Speaking of the subtle differences between the famous short-film version and the live version I asked Eddie if Michael was specific about any particular points when teaching the routine.
“Knee angles!!! And facial expressions” he makes a growl face “Michael said you’ve got to show the back teeth, otherwise it doesn’t have the same impact, head slightly down, mouth wide, back teeth.”
As a popular favourite for weddings, parties and fan events we discussed just how familiar people have become with the routine over the years. Eddie agreed there’s The Thriller Routine and The Thriller Routine.
“The way I teach it is more technical. Sure, people know the steps, but we’re talking about what brings that routine alive, for example, in one part, people will move their hands, but they often don’t realise, the hands are only moving because you’re rolling the shoulders. It’s those sort of things. I teach Thriller the way Michael taught it to me, with every detail…and those knee angles!”
Being a dancer for as long as he has, Eddie was clear that he wants the Masterclass to be inclusive, ensuring that everyone of all abilities can come and enjoy learning at a pace they’re able to keep up with.
“Even the most seasoned dancers are surprised at how many intricacies Thriller has when I teach it to them, but most importantly, everybody has fun learning it and that’s what’s most important, everybody has to feel comfortable.”
Speaking of comfort, I had to ask how he felt about some of the costumes he had to wear, especially during the Bad Tour. “A lot of trench coats man…he put me in a lot of trench coats.” He disappears and comes back holding his opening, signature Bad Tour trench coat. “Michael gave it to me! I was like ok thanks 😊 “
We descended in to a long conversation about touring today and what live performance is like for the legends. And that’s one of the things that makes Eddie such great company, you can speak with him and he makes you feel like you’ve known each other for years. He expressed how excited he is to meet the fans in London on 29th & 30th September and share his experiences of working with Michael Jackson.
Limited tickets are still available for Eddie’s MJ Dance Masterclass on September 29th and can be purchased HERE
To see Eddie give a live interview and take part in a Meet & Greet at Kingvention, tickets can be purchased HERE
Source: Pez Jax | MJVibe.com