What is Moulin Rouge?
Moulin Rouge is a night club or cabaret in France offering spectacular dance or cancan shows targeting male audiences. It opened to the public in 1889 with much buzz and fanfare. This club is owned by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler and dubbed the club as “the first palace of women”. Moulin Rouge literally refers to a ‘red mill’, which has become a recognizable trademark in the building’s facade.
Moulin Rouge became an instant hit for its target male market. The shows featured a carnival like atmosphere with Parisian girls doing the famous Can-Can dance. It quickly had a reputation for lewd dance moves to give entertainment to the male audience. This has caused some public outrage because many consider the shows too sleazy and vulgar. But the shows would continue to increase in popularity, especially with famous patrons such as the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec would soon make paintings with the Moulin Rouge shows as subjects. These paintings would also become famous and eventually led to the artistic evolution of Moulin Rouge.
From sleazy dance moves, the show evolved into a more entertaining and extravagant showcase of dances appealing to the upper classes of France. The can-can dance is still performed as it became synonymous with the experience that is Moulin Rouge. It’s still packaged as an adult-entertainment show today but its image has now become more of an extraordinary fun-filled entertaining dance festival. Shows featured in Moulin Rouge have inspired many other shows in other entertainment meccas of the world. One of this meccas is Las Vegas, which is now world famous for Moulin Rouge-inspired cancan dance shows.
Today, Moulin Rouge still stands as a great part of France’s entertainment scene. Its shows continue to draw people from various places in the world. These people have come to France to be entertained and see something fun and spectacular.