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Life's a ball! Celebrating Moulin Rouge at 130

October 09, 2019 09:21 IST

Remember the Nicole Kidman starrer Moulin Rouge?

Well, the Moulin Rouge, the French cabaret famous for its high-kicking cancan dancers and flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes, has completed 130 years since it first opened its doors to audiences.

These images give an insight into the preparation process of the 60 performers from 14 different countries, kick, saunter and shimmy their way through the Feerie show, the revue that is now the mainstay of the Moulin Rouge's repertoire.

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge, located in Paris, France. Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Close to Montmartre, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. Photograph: /Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
 

Dancers get ready for the "Red" set in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Dancer Megan changes costume as she performs in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge. Each show requires 1,000 outfits and each dancer has to make between 10 and 15 costume changes per show, with about 90 seconds to complete each one before they have to be back out on stage. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Dancers perform on stage at Le Moulin Rouge. The performances at the Moulin Rouge still hold true to the traditions established at the cabaret's founding on October 6, 1889, when women who made a living washing linen by day transformed themselves into dancers at night. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Dancers Courtney and Lacie wait for their next set in the corridors of the Moulin Rouge as they perform in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge. According to estimates, over 600,000 guests visit the Moulin Rouge yearly. And contrary to popular misconceptions, foreign tourists aren’t the only ones who visit the hallowed institution: Half of the audience is usually French. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

British dancer Anna and Australian dancer Courtney pose on stage. Critics say some aspects of the performance – especially the fact that many of the female dancers are topless or wear see-through costumes – is a sexist objectification that is out of step with modern times. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

British Dancers Anna and Courtney stretch in the backstage prior a show at le Moulin Rouge. Dancers at the Moulin Rouge have a tough time as everything needs to be very organised. "A little mistake or a little delay and you can miss your entrance. You really need to be at the right time at the right place," says Claudine Van Den Bergh, a 27-year-old Irish dancer. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Dancers attend the yearly rehearsal with choreographer Bill Goodson at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Moulin Rouge French Cancan shoes are seen at the Clairvoy shoemaker workshop for the "Feerie" review, in Paris. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Drawings of Moulin Rouge costumes for the "Feerie" review are seen pinned on the wall at the Clairvoy shoemaker workshop in Paris. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The French Cancan costumes alone costs €5,000 each. In total, the “Féérie” revue cost €8 million. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Twenty-three stylists are on hand to help the troupe change outfits between scenes. In total, the Moulin Rouge’s wardrobe consists of over 1,000 costumes -- all of which are hand-made to measure. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

An employee pushes a trolley with champagne bottles in the cellar at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France. According to reports, 2,40,000 champagne bottles are popped every year at the Moulin Rouge. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Waiters prepare the tables before the first show of the evening of the "Feerie" review at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Every show at the cabaret has been titled with a name beginning with the letter F. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
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