Ever since 1889, the Moulin Rouge has played host to some of the world’s most famous and spectacular shows. Immortalized by Tolouse-Lautrec and used as an inspirational backdrop in literature and cinema, this international star factory has been graced by stars of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Edith Piaf and many more.
The Moulin Rouge’s two sell-out shows, every night of the year, feature traditional costumes of sequins, rhinestones and goose feathers, fantastical stage sets, original music and of course beautiful women recruited from all over the world after a rigorous selection process.
“Féerie” was launched to celebrate the new millennium and narrates the Moulin Rouge’s fascinating history. With 1,000 costumes, 100 artists, 6 ponies and 5 pythons, this new show features circus acts and traditional choreography (like the “Cancan” and “Doriss Girl”) as well as cabarets involving the audience.
New high powered intelligent Clay Paky projectors have given these shows an extra special touch: colours and special effects merge with the performances to create an impressive symphony of colour and movement.
As Jean-Jacques Clerico, President of Moulin Rouge, reveals: “There was a point where we had to face the challenge of technology: the difficult bit was integrating modern and sophisticated lighting systems in a theatre which bases its success on a strong sense of tradition. We did not want to lose its legendary identity and style or sensationalize its most traditional elements. So I called Christian Bréan, an eclectic and exacting “guru” in lighting design, famous for his tried and tested experience in theatrical lighting: it took us a while to think things over and achieve the best possible solution”.
Christian Bréan comments: “It was so exciting to work in such a historical place.. but also a tough job to make it live up to its name. You have to work with humility and analyse all the various solutions, considering the cultural heritage of this great theatre. It takes endless work and trials to obtain the most harmonious balance between choreography, set design and lighting.”
Did you have any particular guidelines? “Rather than simply lighting a show, my idea was to give it extra value. The high standard of performance and choreography already speak for themselves, but I was still able to add personal touches to a one and a half hour act. I used a lot of coloured light – one of the Moulin Rouge’s trademarks – as well as special effects to enrich the costumes and certain scenes. I also used “liquid light” to enhance choreographic scenes full of ballerinas.
“I used Stage Scan and Golden Scan to colour the stage and create lateral beams and special effects, and Mini Scan HP3 for the backlighting”, explains Christian Bréan. “These high tech products offer so many advantages: just a few high powered intelligent projectors achieve the same chromatic effect as many traditional fixed projectors – this makes things so much more practical. Clay Paky projectors offer a host of solutions that you simply cannot find in traditional lighting products”.
It took a while for him to choose the right projector. “After endless trials, I discovered that Clay Paky projectors were the best the market could offer. I needed reliable products that could guarantee maximum safety every day of the year, since the Moulin Rouge never stops. I have to admit that Clay Paky projectors have met all my expectations – they are extremely reliable, durable and safe, and ideal for high quality projection, colour purity and graphic definition”.
After all, the Moulin Rouge is famous for its attention to detail and subtle blend of tradition and technology, as well as a fantastic team of professionals trained to guarantee a worldwide audience the show of a lifetime.
An experience at the Moulin Rouge takes you back in time to the former glories of the Belle Époque, where every show is savoured to the full like a great vintage wine. Famous its extraordinary choreography, the Moulin Rouge has rekindled its past and present splendours with a new and astonishing light.
Management Moulin Rouge :
Jacki CléricoChairman of the board
Jean-Jacques CléricoPresident & CEO
Show « Féerie » :
Created by : Doris Haug, Ruggero Angeletti
Coreography :Bill Godson
Costumes : Corrado Collabucci
Settings :Gaetano Castelli
Lighting Designer :Christian Bréan
Intelligent lighting equip. : CLAY PAKY S.p.A.