The Cirque Du Soleil have brought their ambitious Michael Jackson dance tribute to London’s O2 Arena.

All the signifiers for a unique and stellar performance are there: the classic, era-defining songs of the King of Pop, coupled with the choreography and jaw-dropping talents of one of the world’s most impressive dance troupes. So why are the reviews not looking so great?

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour opened on Friday (October 12, 2012) at London’s O2 Arena but reviews for the performance have been less than congratulatory. Perhaps Jackson’s music doesn’t lend itself so well to Cirque Du Soleil’s trademark acrobatics, which appear to have been usurped in favour of “a series of Covent Garden-standard mimes, predictably lost in an arena.” The Evening Standard’s reviewer had a muted response to the show, evidently disappointed and remarked that “Tellingly, after two hours of the most danceable music imaginable, none of the crowd were out of their seats. Still, at least no children were involved.”

The Independent were also left wanting: “it never exploded into the magnificent monster of spectacle that it might have been… The venue was to blame, at least in part…to stage this blend of dance, theatre and acrobatics in the arena was the equivalent of throwing a bucket of cold water over any fireworks it was hoping to set off. Performers who might have worked wonders on the rotunda stage of the Royal Albert Hall – Cirque's usual home – looked like small, insubstantial figures. Even the immense screen could not dominate the space.” Jackson fans that had once hoped to see the King of Pop perform at the O2 will sadly not find this to be an adequate replacement.