RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Enjoy  >  Cancan: A way from working-class backstreets to Opera House

Cancan: A way from working-class backstreets to Opera House

Автор: 21.10.2014 | art, history, France
Today is the "official" birthday of cancan, on October 21, 1858 it was first performed in Paris. However it had been danced "unofficially" since the beginning of the 19th century. OUTLOOK wishes our readers to feel party and festive atmosphere and join the dance! Thus, today we would like to share unknown facts about movements inseparable from the French culture.

The term "cancan" sounds fun and exciting. It literally means "tittle-tattle" or "scandal". Also it is used when a woman is compared with duck wagging the rear part of the body.

For about fifty years dance wasconsidered as scandalous form of entertainment by high society and performed only in working-class dancing gardens on Paris outskirts. Many cultural experts believe that the cancan is aprecursor of striptease. However, what kind of striptease it is, if men saw only bare legs between stockings and frilly panties - a rhetorical question.

Theatrical producers and directors often dropped into fun pubs and cabarets for inspiration, and they noticed that risqué dance with lively high-kicking was a pure attention getter. Perhaps that is why in 1858 at its own risk and peril the Paris Opera staged Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, where in one of the acts a respectable audience was provoked by boisterous beauties. The success was incredible and public tolerated the once-disreputable dance.

Finally cancan developed into a respected art form that required training and technique by dancers of the famous Moulin Rouge. Admittedly, those ladies with their talents and destiny deserve another story, we will focus only on La Goulue, Alsace native Louise Weber, regarded as a prima dancer at the end of the 19 th century. Her nickname is translated as "glutton" due to her habit to sit down to some visitor’s table after dancing and have a hearty meal at someone else's expense. This woman used to be a true symbol of cancan. In 1990 La Goulue’s remains were transferred to Montmartre Cemetery.

Among men the most famous is Charles Mazurier who was notorious for incorporating jump-splits into his performanceswhich was revolutionary during his time.

La Goulue and other female dancers were immortalized in countless portraits as Moulin Rouge was attended by almost all the artists who lived in Paris in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is particularly known in that kind of art.

Female squeal during the dance came in 1920, when the French choreographer Pierre Sandrini united solo cancan with British ensemble dance.

It is believed that almost all extravagant gestures of arms and legs used during this merry gallop were invented recently. However, according to studies even in the 16 th century peasant girls from Brittany used to have fun in a similar style. And even earlier, in 2400 BC in Egypt some dance resembling fundamental cancan high kicking above the audiences heads was performed that is evidenced by reliefs.

As we know there was no sex in the Soviet Union, and exceptionally decent dances were danced. The thing is that Nikita Khrushchev, guardian of national morality, was not averse to look at the long-legged beauties. During his good-will visit to the United States, the secretary general postponed the state affairs and was taken on to the sound stage for the "Can-Can" movie where he was immediately surrounded by the cast including movie star Shirley MacLaine and her mate dancers. They say that after the tour the head of the Soviet Union became much more amenable to political issues.

Famous Bernard Shaw gave definition of cancan which many consider as canonical "This is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire legalized by music."

For dessert we offer you three films that can visually demonstrate the beauty of the dance, if in the near future you do not have a chance to go to Paris and spend a night at the famous cabaret.

French Cancan

1954, France, Italy

Son of the famous painter Auguste Renoir, who knows first-hand what the cancan is, filmed a beautiful story about ordinary laundress who became a dance star. The movie is considered the most authentic and reliable.

Variety Lights (Luci del varietà)

1950, Italy

Debut feature film of the great Federico Fellini co-produced and co-directed with Alberto Lattuada. Suitable not only for dance fans, but for moviegoers who are interested to see how the Maestro started.

Moulin Rouge

2001, Australia, USA

If you have not enjoyed singing live and a highly choreographed routine of Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, you definitely should fill the gap. Impeccable production from the main wizard of modern costume drama Baz Luhrmann has already become a classic.

Вам это будет интересно:
Stroll Around Dungeons of Europe: Paris, Berlin, Prague
Sauntering through picturesque nooks of Grand Dame Europe we look around without even suspecting how many interesting things there are beneath our feet. If you are annoyed with standard tours that include marathon race around museums and monuments, we suggest you have a look at good Old World from a different perspective. Or more specifically, look under its feet.
Divine mugham: the music of Azerbaijan
There is music which brings us back to life. It happens even if the tears are falling when one listens to it. The musical genre mugham talks to the audience using the right language. Everyone has lived out unhappy love, loss of a close person or ruin of ideals. These topics became the source of inspiration for the musicians of Azerbaijan movement mugham.
Pompeii: Life under ashes
Human history remembers Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. The list goes on and it includes Pompeii where residents turned into stoned monuments against their will. Located near modern Naples, the city with views of Mount Vesuvius was one of the most developed cities not only in the Roman Empire, but also in Europe. Once thriving community it flourished in many spheres: painting...
Provence: from Marseille to Monaco
Mon amour, mon ami… All most beautiful words and songs of love sound in French. Review every curve of France and find privacy in province of Provence that gently swings in the south-east of Brigitte Bardot and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Ancient cities from Marseille to Monaco are penetrated with lyric antiquity so ideas of staying at Côte d’Azur keep coming back to your head.
Departure: Balchik
If you like having rest in Bulgaria but haven’t picked a town to stay in, try and do it in Balchik. It will suit those who value cozy yet non-costly trips without a flow of holiday-makers and an empty pocket afterwards. And the town’s ancient age together with unique landmarks will create a great alternative to sun and sea bathes.
Sacred animals of the Incas
Our "Peruvian cycle" is replenished with the story of the most revered animals in Peru. Being the link between the present and the past, they play an important role in the life of this nation. Wise ancestors of the modern Peruvians, the ancient Incas, were living in harmony with all life that surrounded them.
Serpent Charmers: How to make a snake dance?
Magic dance of a snake in time with flute’s melody often described in Eastern fairy tales and depicted in movies is no fiction but a true symbol of those countries. In Egypt, India, African countries and some other states slithering tribe are tamed to make a spectacular entertainment out of it. Profession of reptile charmers exists there; it is believed to be as nearly as the most amazing on Earth.
The way they dance
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
A Spot on the Map: Ilana Goor Museum
Elaborating an itinerary for a modern tourist has long ago gone beyond a simple classic conception of a trip abroad. Globetrotters of today are so demanding that travel agencies will soon run out of clients to whom to offer a standard set of historic places and souvenir shops because demand is increasing for emotions instead of traditional sightseeing tours.
Twelve guises of South Korea
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
Eastern music of Sufi: Qawali
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Snow-covered peaks. Best winter resorts
The cold season brings not only such important things as wrapping into a reindeer sweater, drinking hot chocolate and once again reviewing Christmas comedies. Thus, sport has not been canceled yet, so OUTLLOK compiled top five ski resort bucket list for you to cheer up and get out of your winter sleep.
Rice canvas. Tambo Art
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
Mould your hobby. History of pottery
In a local history museum in every country you visit, you will certainly notice similar archaeological finds - fragments of clay products. Pottery, born millennia ago, but “living” even today, can rightfully be considered one of the most tenacious one. The uniqueness of clay was noticed by our distant ancestors who lived in caves ...
Silk Road: Tajik Style
Merely on hearing “Silk Road” we picture valiant wanderers and caravans full of precious items and exotic articles that cross countries and continents. Today we tell about Tajik cities that acted as major transfer points on this trading artery.
Dijon through the eyes of Irina Pleskach
France is too big and diverse country to see a moveable feast of Paris only. After a few days in the city of Montmartre and the Champs-Elysées, one can afford going to the less publicized destinations. For instance, Burgundy town called Dijon is located relatively close to the capital. It is worthy of a visit and is able to surprise. No wonder they say, little pigeons can carry great messages.
Not only a tower is a symbol. The best works of Gustav Eiffel
The word is, Guy de Maupassant hated Eiffel Tower. The famous writer believed that it was uglifying the face of Paris without benefiting the city. Nevertheless, he could be often seen in a cozy cafe on the top of the construction. In such cases the author of “Bel Ami” used to say that “it was the only way the damned tower dropped out of his sight…”
Kabuki: thorny path of flower
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips. The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only...
World ghettos: Asian District of Paris
Paris is rightfully considered one of the most interesting megacities in the world, since any city is not only about architecture, but it is also about inhabitants. Speaking specifically about the capital of France, it is incredibly colorful and atmospheric, since probably all the nationalities of the world live there. Today we will talk about the amazing 13th arrondissement which is called Asian.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page