Now Elvis Presley ain't nothin' but a trapeze artist

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The Independent Culture

Elvis may have left the building but nobody ever expected him to run away and join the circus. But it won't be long before fans of legendary show Cirque du Soleil find themselves all shook up at the sight of the King growling "I ain't nothin' but a hound dog" while swinging from a trapeze.

The entertainment company CKX Inc, which owns the intellectual property rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, has announced that it is to team up with Cirque du Soleil in a bid to bring the singer to contemporary audiences.

The anticipated all-singing, all-dancing bonanza, scheduled for 2008, will draw on urban dance, extreme gymnastics and technology to bring his hits to the stage.

Called the Elvis Presley Projects, the show will play at a host of venues across the United States as well as at least one tour around Europe and Asia. CKX Chairman Robert Silliman said he thought a hologrammed image of Elvis serenading sold-out stadiums around the world is more than a strong possibility.

In his lifetime, Elvis' only concerts outside the United States were five shows in three Canadian cities in 1957. A world tour remained an unfulfilled dream for him and his fans. Mr Sillerman added that the production "will allow fans around the globe, who have only seen Elvis Presley in movies or listened to his music, to truly experience what it was like to see Elvis perform."

CMK, which bought the right to use Elvis's name for £50m, is the latest company joining forces with Cirque du Soleil. In March, a joint production with Hollywood's Weinstein brothers brought the visual grace of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to the circus tent.

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