This Day in History (6-Oct-1889) – Moulin Rogue opens in Paris

In October 1889, Paris was all abuzz concerning the opening of a new music hall. The owners of this new establishment, Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who had chosen the name Moulin Rouge (Red Mill) for their Moulin Rouge, Paris theatre, gave it the nickname “Le Premier Palais des Femmes” (The First Palace of Women) and claimed that Moulin Rouge would soon become “a temple of music and dance”.

Moulin Rouge quickly gained a reputation for being the place where men could view young Parisian girls whose unique and amazing dance moves were as flexible as their morals. And though the famous Can-Can dance had been present in working class ballrooms since the 1830s, the early days of the Moulin Rouge cemented its popularity, though during the first few decades that the establishment was open, it was little more than a bawdy dance performed by courtesans to entertain their male clientele. At times it was downright vulgar and what went on inside the Moulin Rouge caused much public outrage. During this time period, one of the music hall’s most notable patrons was artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who painted a number of famous Moulin Rouge scenes.

In later years, the establishment cleaned up its act, eventually lost its reputation as a brothel, and became a fashionable music hall known for its extravagant cabaret shows, attracting a high-class clientele. The Can-Can itself was toned down as well. Still, it’s the main reason patrons come to Moulin Rouge and they always go away entertained by the dancers’ high-kicking moves, cartwheels, splits, and other amazing acrobatic tricks.

Today, a visit to the Moulin Rouge is still very popular with adult visitors to Paris. The show features more than 100 performers decked out in the most extravagant costumes, which include lots of feathers, rhinestones, and sequins. The sets are equally as spectacular. There are two English movies with the name and shot on the backdrop of Moulin Rogue, one was released in 1952 and other in 2001. Parineeta movie had a glimpse of Kolkata based Moulin Rogue.

 

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/october/6

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/moulinrouge.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_Rouge_(1952_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_Rouge

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