Although many fans are scratching their heads about it, a Whitney Houston hologram tour is indeed kicking off next week in Europe, eight years after the singer’s tragic death.
An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram will begin next Tuesday and end sometime in April. The estate is expecting U.S. dates to follow the initial run, according to The Associated Press.
“Now is just the right time,” said the singer’s sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston, who serves as the executor of Houston’s estate. “In the spirit of Whitney, I know we’re doing all the right things right now.”
The show, which has been in development for five years, is a partnership with BASE Hologram.The company used a body double to turn hundreds of hours of Houston’s performance videos into a near life-like experience.
“We created the hologram the same way they did Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars movie Rogue One,” said BASE Hologram CEO Marty Tudor. “It’s lengthy, it’s tedious, it’s a big, complicated process, but I think it worked.”
Professional dancers and a live band will accompany the hologram on stage. The dancers were choreographed by Fatima Robinson, who has worked with Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, and Mary J. Blige.
“Whitney didn’t dance a lot, but when she did do her little moves, they were so perfectly Whitney,” said Robinson. “We did lots of studying her behavior in her videos. We would study her movements, and find the best moments in some of the live videos that just really embody her.”
Houston’s biggest hits, including “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love For You,” and “I Will Always Love You,” fill the show’s setlist. Also present are lesser known tracks such as her cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” which was recorded three decades ago.
The theme of An Evening With Whitney was partially inspired by Houston’s desire to provide her fans with a more authentic and intimate experience. According to Pat, Houston added an “unplugged” segment during her final European tour and loved the stripped down effect so much she expressed interest in doing an entire tour in that style.
“This is something that she wanted to do,” Pat Houston said following a press preview of the performance, according to AP. “I get very emotional watching this, because it is so, so close to what she wanted. The only thing missing is her, physically.”