Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil tour details announced

Image caption, The show is written and directed by sometime Madonna collaborator Jamie King

Details of a touring show by acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil based on the life and music of the late Michael Jackson have been announced.

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour will open in Montreal in October 2011 and tour a further 26 cities in North America for eight months.

Director Jamie King said Jackson's Neverland Ranch was the inspiration for "this world of magic, fairy tale".

Profits will be split between Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate.

Excerpts from Jackson's music videos, as well as scenes from the This Is It documentary, will be included in the 90-minute show.

King, who has directed tours for artists including Madonna, Rihanna and Celine Dion, said the new show was "really about a central character, or characters, who get transported into this world of Neverland where they learn everything there is to know about Michael".

"Michael Jackson is throughout the entire show but in no way am I going to use a stand-in," he added.

He said the show, which will visit cities including New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, would feature a tree representing Jackson's favourite oak from outside his Neverland bedroom.

The Immortal World Tour could travel outside of the US and Canada if successful, producers say.

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