Situated within the hugely popular Montmartre area of Paris and within easy reach of many of our Paris holiday apartments, the legendary Moulin Rouge is one of the most famous cabaret houses in the world. Offering daily productions of memorable entertainment, together with a fascinating history, the Moulin Rouge is an attraction certainly not to be missed.
Occupying a prominent position along the bustling Boulevard de Clichy, at the foot of Montmartre Hill and within the 18th arrondissement of Paris, is the iconic home of music and dance – the incredible Moulin Rouge. Recognised by its impressive red windmill, the cabaret house attracts millions of visitors every single year from across the globe with its spectacular performances and is often referred to as the birthplace of the renowned Can-Can dance. Boasting daily shows which are brimming with fun, feathers and fabulous costumes, the Moulin Rouge is definitely worthy of a visit.
The Moulin Rouge, which literally translates to ‘Red Mill’, opened to the public on 6th October 1889 – the very same year that the Eiffel Tower was constructed. Its co-owners, Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller, bragged that their establishment would become ‘a temple of music and dance’ – a dream which became an incredibly popular reality within just a short period of time. The Moulin Rouge welcomed a diverse range of clientele, bringing together artists, socialites, aristocrats and working class people. One such artist, a man named Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, would regularly paint scenes from the cabaret house and was responsible for the first ever advertising poster for the Moulin Rouge.
During the early years, before the Can-Can became a raging success, Moulin Rouge was much loved for its magnificent dance, the Quadrille. Performed by beautiful girls dressed in vivacious costumes, the 8 minute dance involved a fascinating mixture of acrobatics and dance steps. The Can-Can itself, which is still performed at the venue to this day, had already been performed in cabaret clubs across Europe, however it was the Moulin Rouge which popularised the dance and transformed it into a world class performance. Onlookers were delighted by this energetic, fast paced dance which saw the dancers kicking their legs high into the air, revealing lacy underskirts and black stockings.
Throughout the years, many well-known names have starred at the Moulin Rouge, including the ‘Queen of the Can-Can’ and one of the Moulin Rouge’s most famous dancers, Louise Webar, whose stage name was La Goulue (The Glutton), Mistinguett, who was a dancer there for almost 30 years, and the much loved French singer Edith Piaf, who first performed on its stage in 1944. Several high profile celebrities, such as Elvis Presley, Elton John and George Michael, have also frequented the venue during more recent times.
The spirit of the Moulin Rouge has been captured in many ways over the years, through music, documentaries and film. In 2001, film director Baz Luhrmann produced the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Moulin Rouge!’ which was nominated for an array of prestigious awards. The cabaret house also inspired the building of the Moulin Rouge Casino Hotel in Las Vegas during the 1950s. However, despite numerous replicas, the Parisian dance hall still remains at the top of its class and is an attraction certainly not to be missed whilst visiting this wonderful city.
Further information, together with show times and ticket prices can be found on the official website – www.moulinrouge.fr