Among the stunningly creative array of dancers, performer Leo Moctezuma provides his own dancing tribute to the King of Pop. In The Immortal World Tour, Moctezuma is one of the featured dancers in the performance.
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1980, Moctezuma discovered his passion for the arts as a teenager, and parlayed his extensive dance training into a career after being recruited to perform at Walt Disney World's Pleasure Island. It was there that he was discovered by renowned Choreographer and Artistic Director Jamie King. Moctezuma was thrilled when King chose him to be part of Tarzan Rocks.
"I was a fan, growing up, of Jamie. When I heard he was choreographing Tarzan Rocks, it was a must for me to audition for that show. Watching and working with him was unbelievable. The fact that he worked with both Michael and Madonna was a dream for me."
King, whose career began as a dancer performing in Jackson's Dangerous World Tour in 1992, eventually went on to choreograph Madonna's "Human Nature" video in 1995. After directing multiple world tours for such artists as Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, King settled into the artistic director seat for The Immortal World Tour, bringing his signature style along with him.
Moctezuma himself has also acquired quite the scintillating résumé. His dancing talents have been tapped for such performances as Ricky Martin's Living La Vida Loca World Tour, Britney Spears' Dream Within A Dream and Onyx Hotel tours, Christina Aguilera's Stripped and Back to Basics tours, and Pink's Funhouse Tour. Moctezuma enjoys dancing and appreciates that this current Cirque du Soleil performance will allow him to express himself artistically.
"As a dancer you have to be in tune with your mind, body, and soul when you're a real artist. I go to sleep dancing, thinking of music…thinking about art," he said.
Recently, Moctezuma has been delving head-first into the music industry with the release of two music singles. In his recent music video "2 Da Left," Moctezuma is joined by fellow dancer and friend Heather Morris, known for her character of Brittany S. Pierce on Fox's Glee.
"We've had experience dancing together, and she worked with me before her career took off on Glee." Moctezuma added that dancing dynamo Morris is just as fabulous in real life as she is portrayed on screen. "The shoot was fun. We basically were just hanging out, acting silly and being sexy. She's down to earth and that all comes through when she's acting. But once she puts on a musical number, she turns into quite another beast."
When discussing the vast array of artists in which he has worked with, Moctezuma still holds the utmost respect for Pink. "I feel that she is kind of like the underdog of the pop world. I've choreographed for her and I'm friends with her. She's one of the artists who I've seen on the road putting so much energy into her music. I've watched how hard the music industry can be, through her, and it pushed me to continue with my own music."
Music and performing, though, aren't the only causes that are important to him.
"I give total support [to the LGBT community]." Moctezuma explains. "As a dancer, stereotypically people believe that most dancers are gay and that's not always the case. Dancers have to be totally in tune with their sexuality. And sometimes, we have to partner with each other. We're actors. We're in 2012 right now, and it's about equality, and I think that's what most everyone wants in the world. They want to be equal."
Moctezuma discussed how dancers need to be comfortable with their own sexuality in order to translate into effective performances.
"I'm very comfortable with my own sexuality. I've performed with Christina Aguilera during Stripped, where we've had male-on-male and female-on-female dancing. As entertainers, we want the viewer to feel comfortable and know its ok to be sexy in your own skin. If I can portray that to any one specific gender, then I've done my job."
Moctezuma was quite comfortable within his own skin when he shared quite the titillating role during Britney Spears' Onyx Hotel Tour. The two made headlines in a sensual kiss during her performance of the song "Breathe On Me." When asked how it was to share the stage with Britney during such a controversial moment, Moctezuma laughs, "Uh...amazing. I must say for six months of my life I was envied by so many men and women around the world. It was a time in which Britney was at the peak of her sexiness, however we entertainers know it's all about the performance and the character we embody. Work is work, but when work is fun, you can't go wrong."
When he arrives in Baltimore next month, Moctezuma is not only thrilled to be performing in The Immortal World Tour, but also to be performing alongside Mike Phillips, a band member within The Immortal World Tour, at Baltimore's Sheraton Hotel.
"Mike's résumé is fabulous! In different cities, he has these amazing jam sessions with these local performers," he said. "I'm excited that I get to actually sing and perform with some of the best performers from within our show and Baltimore."
Moctezuma is hoping that his performance in Baltimore leaves a lasting impact on audience members who are attending the show. "I'm looking forward to our show touching a lot of fans who are Michael's and hopefully will give some more history to his voice and what he's about."
As a performer whose range of projects has stretched across the last decade, Moctezuma is honored to portray such a role in The Immortal World Tour. "I've been a Michael Jackson fan since I was a kid. It's unfortunate that he's not here performing with us, but his spirit definitely is. It's really magical." ■
Mike Phillips Live in Concert
With Leo Moctezuma & Taku Hirano
Friday, May 4 • 8:30pm • $29.50
Sheraton Hotel Ballroom
1100 Old Elkridge Rd. • Linthicum Heights
443.858.9781 • CharmCityJazz.com