Ubisoft, the French company behind videogames including “Assassin’s Creed” and “Rayman Raving Rabbids,” will expand into the live entertainment market with “Just Dance Live,” an immersive production based on its popular “Just Dance” franchise of rhythm-based videogames.
“Just Dance Live,” to be seen first in a pilot tour of four U.S. cities in March, will incorporate a 90-minute live performance (with about 15 dancers) into an interactive slate of activities that includes a red carpet and a lobby area where audience members can glam up their makeup, hair and accessories. Theatergoers will be invited to dance along with the show, which will be staged all around them.
“Just Dance Live” capitalizes on a brand that launched with a Nintendo Wii game in 2009 and has since spawned multiple sequels. It’s now billed as the number one music videogame franchise of all time.
For Ubisoft — currently considered a possible takeover target of media conglomerate Vivendi — the move comes as it’s begun to expand its properties into the broader entertainment industry with movies and comic books. “It fits in the strategy of Ubisoft becoming an entertainment actor in general,” said Hinde Daoui, Ubisoft’s live entertainment producer.
“Just Dance Live” will be staged by creative director Kim Gavin, whose credits include the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and designed and production managed by Stufish, the architecture, design and production studio that’s worked on shows including Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” and “Believe.”
The pilot tour kicks off in Miami (March 8-11) before moving on to Chicago (March 15-18), Houston (March 22-25) and Hollywood (March 29-31). Daoui said the pilot production would inform where the show tours next and what kinds of venues are best suited to the production.
As for which Ubisoft properties will make the jump to the live entertainment space next, that remains to be seen. “At the moment we are focused 100% on ‘Just Dance,'” Daoui said.
Tickets for “Just Dance Live” are now on sale.