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Pigalle : Bal du Moulin Rouge

moulin rouge pigalle

Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 1714-1785, a French sculptor who did work for the court of Louis XV, may well have had few doubts that one day his name would be associated with the most debauched quarter of Paris. This said the man is responsible for the famous sculpture of the Virgin Mary that resides today in the Saint-Sulpice Cathedral. Pigalle is today synonymous with ladies of the night, cabarets, and the Paris underworld before the war. Not a true quarter, Pigalle is rather a long boulevard, stretching from Barbès-Rochechouart until the Place de Clichy, and bordering the south side of the Butte-Montmartre. At the corner of the Boulevard de Clichy and la Place Blanche resides Paris’, and arguably the world’s, most recognised cabaret, the famous Moulin Rouge. Created at the same time as the Eiffel Tower, in 1889, the Moulin Rouge quickly became the temple of the French Can-Can, thanks to the famous dancers resident there including Jane Avril, Lucette Guilbert and la Goulue. Well recognised souvenirs of that torrid era are the works of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, which immortalised some of these women (one such work is found on this page). Today still, the Moulin Rouge, the Folies-Bergère and the Lido present their erotic revues, perhaps more for the tourists than the locals. Stunning women dancing under lights, barely clad in fantastic costumes, continuing the long tradition of the French Can-Can.

Moulin Rouge : 82 boulevard de Clichy - 75018 Paris -  M° : Blanche - Phone : +331.
Lido : 116 bis, avenue des Champs-Elysées - 75008 Paris - M° : Etoile - Phone : +331.
Folies-Bergère : 32, rue Richer - 75009 Paris - M° : Grands Boulevards - Phone : +331.

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