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Paris and Cabaret - these are two things that are truly inseparable. Take a peek with us at the times when the Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret in the world, was opening.

Paris Moulin Rouge: The Red Mill is full of Passion

Eva Ledecká
12.Feb 2017
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2 minutes

The Emergence of Cabaret

France was destined for the formation of cabaret already from the Middle Ages when it was replete with wine bars and pubs in which artists and poets would meet. At that time these venues were known as cabarets littéraires and this is from where, perhaps, the name came, which, however, had nothing in common with cabaret as we think of it now. 

Historically the first cabaret had already been established in Montmartre in 1881 and it was named Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat). It belonged to Rodolphe Salis, who was the owner of the inn, to support which he then founded the cabaret.

The Moulin Rouge: the World’s Most Famous Cabaret

The Moulin Rouge was founded in 1889, i.e. in the same year that the Eiffel Tower was first revealed to an excited public. It was founded by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler. Ever since its inception it has always been an extravagant undertaking and its interior enabled the frequent changing of its style of decoration. Oller organised lavish parties at which the guests danced and sang and drank the luxurious Champagne that kept-on flowing and provided entertainment for the rich burghers until the crack of dawn.

Luxusní byt 4+kk na prodej, Praha 7 – 296m
Luxusní byt 4+kk na prodej, Praha 7 – 296m, Praha 7

The Birth of Can-can

This peerless dance, French Can-can, came to birth in the Moulin Rouge from where it later spread around the world like wildfire. At the time of its creation, however, it was condemned both by the press and by the church and it was considered to be highly immoral, because the dancers were showing their legs.

One event that definitely did not help the reputation of the cabaret entertainment took place there in 1893. In this year the first striptease in the world was held at the Moulin Rouge during the Academy of Fine Arts’ Ball. This event, at which one of the girls jumped on the table and pulled her clothes off, resulted in even more daring performances at other Parisian cabarets.

The Doriss Girls

Until 1950 when the German ballerina Doriss, who secretly attended courses of can-can, came to the Moulin Rouge, it was poor girls who were dancing in the cabaret because they wanted to earn some money. Doriss began working there as a choreographer and created a group of 4 high-kicking professional dancers, of which there are currently 60. Later, a group of Dorris Boys was added, which carefully searched-out its dancers from worldwide. The cabaret slowly began to take-on the form of a luxury entertainment for the rich, at which professional dancers could show-off their dancing skills.

Fréerie Show

Currently you can see Fréerie Show as part of the Cabaret, in which 80 artists, including the Doriss Girls, perform. This luxurious spectacle is guaranteed by the 1000 costumes made of feathers, sequins and stones that were produced in the most prestigious Parisian workshops. The sumptuous and luxurious decorations, full of glittering colours, were designed by Italian artists.

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Moulin Rouge
82, Bd de Clichy 75018 Paris France
+33 (0)1 53 09 82 82