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Video released of Michael Jackson's final rehearsals

July 2, 2009 |  1:51 pm

Michael Jackson's final rehearsals at Staples Center were filmed, and footage was released today via CNN. Photos from the rehearsals trickled out last week. Prior to his death last Thursday, Jackson was in Los Angeles prepping for his upcoming "This Is It" tour at the O2 Arena in London.

The Times last week reported on the rehearsals. In his article, Chris Lee noted that director Kenny Ortega, a journeyman choreographer and movie director whose career highlights include "High School Musical," the "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" and "Dirty Dancing," began working with Jackson on the intricate staging four months ago.

Lee also spoke to Ken Ehrlich, the longtime executive producer of the Grammy Awards. Lee wrote that Ehrlich was there to discuss a television project with Jackson:

After the meeting, the singer invited Ehrlich to stay and watch him rehearse.

The show was still a work in progress, with props that Ehrlich recalled as "looking pretty magical" strewn about the venue's floor. Jackson seemed committed to the work but stopped short of putting his complete energy into the run-through, he said.

"What I saw that night was a person who was still in the process of learning the show," Ehrlich said. "I watched Kenny Ortega walk him through some stage directions. I know [Michael's] method, and there's a certain reticence when he's not in full make-up and wardrobe to 'give it.' He would have been ready by the time he got to London."

The video is after the jump. It's a short clip of Jackson rehearsing "They Don't Care About Us." CNN reports that the video was shot June 23.

--Todd Martens

Photo: Associated Press


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