Discover the secret behind the 45 degree lean in the Smooth Criminal video and in the live performance.
Michael Jackson and two of his costume designers obtained a US patent (US5255452) in 1993 on "Methods and Means for Creating Anti Gravity Illusion". The invention outlines how a special pair of shoes attaches to a stage to allow leaning forward beyond the centre of gravity of the wearer of the shoes. A case study of this patent is presented here.
Background and Prior Art Interesting stage designs, lighting, fog generators, laser light shows, and large video screens have been used by music entertainers and dancers to enhance the appeal of their live and recorded performances.
In the past Michael Jackson had incorporated dance steps in his recorded video performances, wherein he and other dancers would lean forward beyond their center of gravity, thereby creating an impressive visual effect. In the video this effect was accomplished by the use of cables connecting a harness around the dancer's waist with hooks on a stage, thereby allowing the dancer to lean forward at the required degree.
However, since this requires stagehands to connect and then disconnect the cables, it has not been possible to use this system in live performances. Moreover, the cables obviously restricted arm and body movements.
Description of the Invention
The present invention overcomes the above noted deficiencies of the previously employed cable system by providing specialized footwear and
a moveable hitch or post to which the specialized footwear can be detachably engaged to, allowing the footwear wearer to lean forward on the stage, with his or her center of gravity well beyond the front of the shoes, thereby creating the desired visual effect. The hitch or post protrude upwardly through the stage platform at a predetermined time.
Have you ever wondered how Michael Jackson was able to fly over the heads of the audience at the end of the Dangerous Tour concerts. Sure he had a rocket strapped to his back but is that really possible? Find the answer here...
As you can see in the video clip on this page Michael had a little help from a stuntman in order to make that dangerous flight. And a little magic was used to hide the fact that it wasn't even he himself but one of the good people from Rocketman Inc.
Visit Rocketman Inc.'s website for more info and pictures from the Dangerous Tour