Today’s lesson plan has us looking at the history of the Moulin Rouge.
This iconic cabaret, whose name means “Red Mill” in French for the red windmill that sits top it, has been around since 1889. Although it did burn down in 1915, it was rebuilt and has survived two World Wars and countless changes in political climate to remain a performance venue, though these days it serves more as a tourist attraction then as the edgy artistic center it was once known as.
The Moulin Rouge is acknowledges as the “spiritual birthplace” of the final form of the can-can dance, which originated as a seductive dance for courtesans. The can-can then moved on to become an art all of it’s own and is still performed today. The Moulin Rouge became known for decadent performances (such as nude depictions of Cleopatra surrounded by nude women in one show) and it’s style was copied in clubs and cabarets around the world.