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Moulin Rouge – the Heart of Paris of Night

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Moulin RougeWhen the city is visited by tourists, it offers places of history it is proud of and Paris has lots to show and take admirations. Any city is different from day to night. And the best and key place of sightseeing in Paris is Moulin Rouge, the legendary cabaret.

Moulin Rouge cabaret was planned to be open by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler by the collection of works to the World Exhibition in the world which was held on October 6, 1889. Moulin Rouge means Red Mill and such an exotic name came from the key symbol of the enterprise, the decorative wooden mill with red color wings. Moulin Rouge was not theonly cabaret in Montmartre, the boho region in Paris. However, the house won the popularity among the urban youth and the aristocracy for the special cancan and the adequate group of dancers. One of the first Moulin Rouge stars was 19-year old native of Alsace Louise Weber who debuted in cabaret in 1890 under the stage name of La Goulue (the glutton) for the habit typical to her to sit at tables of visitors after the performance and have dinner at their account. The other cabaret prima of the classic epoch was the dancer of sensitive and vicious dances Jane Avril. The dark-skinned dancer Josephine Baker glorified Moulin Rouge during 20s.

As for the dancers and their dances, there is an opinion that strip tease was the signature performance for Moulin Rouge from the first day of foundation. Though it is not like this since first performances were made by dancers wearing all their ensembles though dancing frivolously. The truth is that striptease originates from that cabaret when the dancing party for students of art colleges was held there in summer 1893. The guests of the party were professional dancers and sitters who posed naked to artists. Thus, two of those sitters got drunk from champagne, climbed the table up and did what we call striptease today. After the freak was successful among the visitors of Moulin Rouge that day, the cabaret owners included the striptease into their dancing program.

End of XIX and beginning of XX century is the special period for Moulin Rouge when the place became the factual center of Paris night life. The fire that caused serious damages to the cabaret in 1915 did not prevent to open Moulin Rouge again in 1921. Since 30s there was the tendency noticed to modernize the classic cabaret with the modern features and characteristics and new repertory of performances with new generation of visitors. In 1937 Moulin Rouge officially keeps the status of the cabaret to turn into the night club. In 1959, after the Word War II, this process is continued logically, a new hall is opened where the visitors can enjoy the perfect dishes watching effective shows. In 1960 Moulin Rouge reminds of Las Vegas show where the singers of the world vale are invited to perform, a huge giant aquarium is mounted, where the aqua ballet show is done with naked dancers. Within 1980-1990 the cabaret loses its popularity until Nicole Kidman and Ivan McGregor starred in the movie Moulin Rouge which revives the fame of cabaret and since then the major number of visitors of cabaret are tourists.

Today the image and zest of Moulin Rouge is review Feerie that is performed in the cabaret since 2000. This play was directed by Doris Haug and Ruggero Angeletti, and its budget is around $7 million USD. The orchestra totals 80 musicians in number, 60 choristers and 60 dancers take part in the performance. Over 1000 costumes are used in the show costing over $30 thousand USD and 800 pairs of shoes. The performance is divided into four parts, namely Moulin Rouge today and yesterday- Moulin Rouge forever, Pirates, In the Circus and Moulin Rouge since 1900 to… . Up to 850 spectators can watch the show at the same time. Two performances are held daily, at 9 o’clock p.m. and 11 p.m. the cost of the early show with dinner included is available for 175 Euros, while the price for later performance without dinner is about 100 Euros.

The charm and unique chic of Moulin Rouge is not only conditioned by what happens there under the curtains, but also the streets surrounding the cabaret are involved. Moulin Rouge is located in Montmartre, the most bohemian district in Paris, the name of which specify creative society around the world. Though the unique feature of the cabaret location is that it stands in the center of the «quarter of red lamps» in Paris. Boulevard de Clichy, where the cabaret is located is the street full of ladies of the night from old times, while the Place Pigalle situated somewhat to the east along the same boulevard, is traditionally awarded the verbal title of the «most depraved place in Paris». Presently, good old times go into what they are from and bordellos located along the Boulevard de Clichy are often turned into the sex shops, though the breath of the past is still here. In general, in spite of the historical meaning of Moulin Rouge, today it is perceived as the attribute of show-biz.

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