Paris, Louvre, Versailles, Montparnasse, the Moulin Rouge… Even those who had never seen a city that is worth to “see and die”, these names evoke specific associations. And if the Louvre and Versailles are museums of “royal” history of Paris, then what is Moulin Rouge? The famous cabaret, where cancan is being danced and rivers of champagne are flowing? No. Moulin Rouge is also part of the history of Paris, is more than a melodramatic story told in the eponymous film, this – is a symbol. Symbol of the dreams came true and dashed hopes, broken and coupled hearts, creativity and vice, beauty and ugliness. Moulin Rouge – is not just a magical show, which is worth seeing and admiring, this – is part of life.
In October 6, 1889 the Music Hall welcomed its first visitors, the whole Paris had been speaking about how it is “to go to the Moulin Rouge”. The visitor was first of all stunned by an exciting interior – bizarre combination of old and antique with modernism and surrealism, eastern with the European. Moulin Rouge has embodied the credo that was hovering in the air of those days in Paris – “the right to be lazy”. Here could be done everything – to cry and laugh, to dance all night and sleep, lying on one of the sofas. Art and fraud were interweaved and had created an atmosphere of the Moulin Rouge: somewhere playing cards, somewhere were made plans to conquer the city, and in some of the halls a funny titch Lautrec immortalized this “carnival of life”.
Moulin Rouge was doing real things that seemingly can not exist, being a kind of apogee of the avant-garde and surrealism. What worth the monumental figure of the elephant, which is located in the garden of the music hall. Climbing the spiral staircase, located at the foot of the animal, the visitors got in the stomach, where was placed the Arabic Club.
Of course, now Moulin Rouge is not anymore a place where Paris bohemia met, where in the smoke-filled rooms was sipped banned everywhere absinthe, and where a ballet dancer liked could be invited to the home. The atmosphere of celebration and joy survived, but today’s Moulin Rouge is an elite cabaret, something between a fashionable night club and museum. It remains a place where the legendary French cancan is danced, and is learned what the real Paris is. Though there are other similar clubs in the city, where the program may be more vivid and pompous, but Paris visitors come namely here. Not because theu do not know about other music halls (in any guidebook can be found about a dozen addresses and details), but because the veil of secrecy, mystery and a kind of sadness wraps Moulin Rouge, where the “mill” of fun spins each evening for many, many years…