Michael Jackson was a fan of the more than 1,500 Filipinoinmates who performed the choreography for his video "Thriller" in 2007 andcreated a viral hit.
Jacksonwatched the videos of Cebu Provincial Detention And Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC)prisoners during breaks from his tour rehearsalsfor "This Is It," his choreographer Travis Payne said.
Payne recently contacted Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, andarranged to make a surprise visit to meet the performers in the high securityprison, the Philippines'ManilaBulletin reported.
Payne spent two hours on Sun., Jan. 17, and Mon., Jan. 18,teaching the dancers the routines from Jackson'sposthumous "This Is It" film.
"The Drill" is the last scene Payne and Jackson worked ontogether before the pop icon died in June. The clip was released over theweekend, days before the Tues., Jan. 26 release of the "This Is It" DVD.
The CPDRC performance videos of Jackson's "Thriller," "Dangerous," and theVillage People's "Y.M.C.A," among others, are all well done.
But Payne, who worked with Jackson for more than 10 years, was able to taketheir performance to new heights. Their rendition of Jackson's "They Don't Really Care About Us"is comparable to the scene in "This Is It."
The "This Is It" version is a highlight of the film. Itfeatures a group of dancers who were digitally replicated to appear as an army.Payne's work with the CPDRC men brought this virtual sequence to real life.
The inmates were not initially receptive to participating inthe choreographed dances, said Bryon Garcia, a security consultant for theprison. He suggested the activity to keep the prisoners busy during theirdowntime, the Manila Bulletin reported.
According to the NewYork Times, Bryon decided to post videos of the prisoners dancing online to publicize some of the positive changes he implemented at Cebu since joining the staff in 2004.