The Moulin Rouge, the famous cabaret with a windmill that opened in the Montmartre section of Paris 130 years ago, is still drawing crowds to its spectacular shows featuring a chorus line of often-topless dancers. And it’s now the inspiration for a hit Broadway musical. Correspondent Alina Cho visits the landmark that has inspired artists and writers (and even marriage proposals), and talks with its artistic director and dancers, along with the Tony Award-winning set designer of the new Broadway show, “Moulin Rouge!: The Musical.”
Moulin Rouge (“Red Mill”) is a cabaret in Paris, France.
The original house, which burned down in 1915, was co-founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. The closest métro station is Blanche.
Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club’s decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle France.