The 2012 Beaujolais Festival will transport you back to the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era) with our Moulin Rouge theme! If you are not sure about what are the Moulin Rouge and or have never experienced this French cultural happening the cancan dance, let us introduce you to Paris in La Belle Époque, and let yourself be carried away by the accordion, the froufrou, and the joie de vivre!
La Belle Époque
La Belle Époque in France rhymed with prosperity, peace, and the joy of living. After one war and a century of hardship, the early twentieth century felt serene to the French people and many European countries. La Belle Époque runs from 1890 to 1914 and was characterized by technological advancement, scientific discoveries, and by an artistic and cultural refinement. It is during that time that the word haute-couture was invented and that Champagne was perfected.
The Moulin Rouge
On October 6 1889, in the heart to Paris the opening of a new music-hall, the Moulin Rouge (the Red Mill), was attracting a large crowd of people. That day they came to discover the extravagant Moulin Rouge decorated with large mirrors, galleries, and a garden with a big elephant. In an atmosphere of excitement, nobles, elegant women, artists, international visitors, and workers would be side by stage watching the exciting show on stage and the surroundings.
From the beginning Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler understood their success. They nicknamed their establishment Le Premier Palais des Femmes (the first Women Palace) and gambled that Moulin Rouge would become one of the greater establishments for dance and music.
It took six years for the Moulin Rouge to recover from a fire in 1915, but the music-hall has regained its reputation since then. Members of the royal society, superstars, and celebrities have come to the Moulin Rouge to enjoy its magnificent cancan and unforgettable shows. On February 1988, the Moulin Rouge celebrated its 100 year anniversary affirming its fabulous creativity and the desire to constantly reinvent itself.
Dress to Impress
The Beaujolais Festival’s dress code is dressy casual - but feel free to dress up as much as you like, you will not be out of place! If you are in the mood for festive attire, you can get some inspiration from the Moulin Rouge during its golden years. Cancan dancers would use everything glittery and feminine to dress up, such as lace, flowers, fur, plumes, satin, and pearls. The Moulin’s backstage looked like a palace from the Tales of the Arabian Nights.
Sources: Wikipedia and The Moulin Rouge.