Photos | The Moulin Rouge in Paris: Enthralling spectators for 130 years

The Moulin Rouge, the French cabaret famous for its high-kicking cancan dancers and flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes, this week marks 130 years since it first opened its doors to audiences. Each show requires 1,000 outfits, all crafted in the workshops that have been supplying the Moulin Rouge for decades. For two performances every evening, an army of assistants work backstage to ensure that the dancers change their costumes in time during the show. The dancers, from as many as 14 countries, undergo strenuous rehearsals to mesmerize the audience.

Updated On Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST 12 Photos
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Dancers get ready for the "Red" set in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France. This week marks 130 years since the Moulin Rouge opened its doors to audiences. The cabaret is famous for its high-kicking cancan dancers and flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Dancers get ready for the "Red" set in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France. This week marks 130 years since the Moulin Rouge opened its doors to audiences. The cabaret is famous for its high-kicking cancan dancers and flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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Dancers Courtney and Lacie wait for their next set in the corridors of the Moulin Rouge as they perform in the review "Feerie," the show that is now the mainstay of the Moulin Rouge’s repertoire. For two performances every evening, 60 performers from 14 different countries twirl, kick and dance their way through the show. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Dancers Courtney and Lacie wait for their next set in the corridors of the Moulin Rouge as they perform in the review "Feerie," the show that is now the mainstay of the Moulin Rouge’s repertoire. For two performances every evening, 60 performers from 14 different countries twirl, kick and dance their way through the show. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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Dancer Megan changes costume as she performs in the review Feerie. Backstage – unseen by the 6,00,000 audience members who watch the show each year and quaff their way through nearly a quarter of a million bottles of champagne – is a different kind of choreography; the sophisticated machinery of costume changes and scenery-pulling needed to make the show happen. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Dancer Megan changes costume as she performs in the review Feerie. Backstage – unseen by the 6,00,000 audience members who watch the show each year and quaff their way through nearly a quarter of a million bottles of champagne – is a different kind of choreography; the sophisticated machinery of costume changes and scenery-pulling needed to make the show happen. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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Dancer Claudine Van Den Bergh, 27, puts on her make-up before entering the stage. “The whole team including dancers, aides and technicians need to be very organised,” said the Irish dancer who has been dancing at the Moulin Rouge for seven years. “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.” (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Dancer Claudine Van Den Bergh, 27, puts on her make-up before entering the stage. “The whole team including dancers, aides and technicians need to be very organised,” said the Irish dancer who has been dancing at the Moulin Rouge for seven years. “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.” (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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Drawings of the costumes for the "Feerie" review are seen pinned on the wall at the Clairvoy shoemaker workshop in Paris. Each show requires 1,000 outfits, all crafted in the workshops that have been supplying the Moulin Rouge for decades. 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. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Drawings of the costumes for the "Feerie" review are seen pinned on the wall at the Clairvoy shoemaker workshop in Paris. Each show requires 1,000 outfits, all crafted in the workshops that have been supplying the Moulin Rouge for decades. 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. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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Women work inside a workshop at Moulin Rouge. Every time a number finishes out on stage, the troupe of dancers rushes backstage. There, the multicoloured costumes, many encrusted in rhinestones, have been laid out in order by an army of assistants. Rows of pink feather boas hang from rails. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Women work inside a workshop at Moulin Rouge. Every time a number finishes out on stage, the troupe of dancers rushes backstage. There, the multicoloured costumes, many encrusted in rhinestones, have been laid out in order by an army of assistants. Rows of pink feather boas hang from rails. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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Dancers Claudiu, Harry, Reece, Samantha and Claudine seen backstage. The costumes of the dancers are changed by assistants in an instant. Then, the troupe rush back out onstage into the glare of the footlights. Without a pause, the assistants backstage put away the outfits that the dancers removed, then lay out a new set of outfits so they are ready for the next costume change and the next number. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Dancers Claudiu, Harry, Reece, Samantha and Claudine seen backstage. The costumes of the dancers are changed by assistants in an instant. Then, the troupe rush back out onstage into the glare of the footlights. Without a pause, the assistants backstage put away the outfits that the dancers removed, then lay out a new set of outfits so they are ready for the next costume change and the next number. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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French Cancan soloist Olga Khokhlova, a dancer from ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, performs at the Moulin Rouge. Khokhlova has been at the Moulin Rouge for 12 years. "I love the adrenaline of the stage. The Moulin is a magical place where I live out my passion" she said. "When I’m on stage, I know that I am the inheritor of famous dancers who for 130 years have made the Moulin Rouge." (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

French Cancan soloist Olga Khokhlova, a dancer from ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, performs at the Moulin Rouge. Khokhlova has been at the Moulin Rouge for 12 years. "I love the adrenaline of the stage. The Moulin is a magical place where I live out my passion" she said. "When I’m on stage, I know that I am the inheritor of famous dancers who for 130 years have made the Moulin Rouge." (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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Coach and dancer Audrey trains Isabelle during a rehearsal at the Moulin Rouge. The performances at the Moulin Rouge still hold true to the traditions established at the cabaret’s founding on Oct. 6, 1889, when women who made a living washing linen by day transformed themselves into dancers at night. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Coach and dancer Audrey trains Isabelle during a rehearsal at the Moulin Rouge. The performances at the Moulin Rouge still hold true to the traditions established at the cabaret’s founding on Oct. 6, 1889, when women who made a living washing linen by day transformed themselves into dancers at night. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

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A dancer performs in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge. 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. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

A dancer performs in the review "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge. 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. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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To mark the Moulin Rouge’s 125th anniversary, in 2014, two activists from feminist group Femen climbed onto the theatre’s roof and shouted that women’s bodies should not be for sale. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

To mark the Moulin Rouge’s 125th anniversary, in 2014, two activists from feminist group Femen climbed onto the theatre’s roof and shouted that women’s bodies should not be for sale. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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The sun sets over the Moulin Rouge. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

The sun sets over the Moulin Rouge. (Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 04, 2019 12:43 PM IST
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