The world-famous Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris celebrates its 120th anniversary Tuesday.
The Moulin Rouge was opened in Paris Oct 6, 1889, by Catalan-born impresario Joseph Oller. The cabaret, with the famous red windmill on its roof, has become famous as the birthplace of the traditional French can-can since then, which is still performed there.
Britain's Prince of Wales was among the cabaret's frequent visitors, and today it is one of the tourist attractions in Paris entertaining adult visitors from across the world.
The cabaret's head, Jean-Jacques Clerico, said its 100-strong troupe includes dancers from 17 countries, with the maximum coming from Australia and the competition to join the cabaret is fierce.
"Girls come here because it is prestigious," said Marina Lotnik, who has been working at the cabaret since 2000. "Performing here even for half-a-year or a year is a huge advantage for your future career, if you want it to be connected with dance, choreography or show business".
Clerico says "It is not easy to become a dancer at the Moulin Rouge - only true professionals are welcomed." "Special choreographic and performing skills are required; our dancers go through training that is recognized by [dance] institutions across the world".
The current cabaret's revue, which has been performed at the Moulin Rouge stage for 10 years, is named Feerie.
The show includes dancers, acrobats, magicians and clowns, and will run for another couple of years, before a new revue expected to be staged by 2012 replaces it, says Clerico.
Clerico said that he did not exclude the possibility of a Moulin Rouge show in Russia next year after the official declaration of 2010 as the Year of Russia in France and the Year of France in Russia by the two countries.