Inside Moulin Rouge Paris: ‘Dream Come True’ for Aussie Lauren Perrett
Australian dancer Lauren Perrett has performed more than 350 shows with the Moulin Rouge in Paris and now she has been promoted to soloist in the Cancan duo.
Lauren Perrett was studying full-time Classical dance when she auditioned for the most famous cabaret show in the world. Her heart was set on studying ballet in Germany until she received a letter of offer in October 2016 for the Moulin Rouge. Lauren had six months to relocate herself to Paris. Heavy rehearsal period began in April 2017 and was on stage just one month later.
Lauren now performs six nights a week, two shows a night and finishing in the early hours of the morning.
“There are days where it is harder to perform; we are on six nights a week and sometimes things happen in our personal lives that make it harder, but the majority of the time I am really excited before going on stage and have a great time,” Lauren told Dance Writer.
The Moulin Rouge hosts a troupe of 60 artists who perform in the show “Féerie”. This dazzling performance features an abundance of topless men and women wrapped in a swirl sequins, rhinestones, and feathers. Since its inception 127 years ago, Moulin Rouge Paris is regarded the most famous Cabaret show in the world, and a mecca for being the ultimate romantic rendezvous.
Lauren has dreamed of becoming a soloist during her contract. She has worked hard every day to improve her leg flexibility so she can maintain strength and height in the Cancan line. It wasn’t long before her sweat and dedication made it worthwhile. When Lauren discovered she was in the Cancan duo, she was over the moon.
“It became the one thing I wanted to achieve at the Moulin Rouge during my time here, so I just made sure I worked hard in Cancan for every show. When I was offered to learn and perform the duo I was super excited and it felt like the work paid off,” Lauren smiled.
The Cancan duo involves the traditional steps they already do in Cancan just at a much faster tempo and involves running split jumps. In Cancan, there are soloists who do acrobatics called the Cancan soloists. The duo is in the soloist section of Cancan. There are three main soloists who are hired as Cancan soloists and when one of them isn’t there, the duo performs.
“It is fast and tiring, but it is really thrilling and I love performing it,” said Lauren.
The cast of the Moulin Rouge has a surprising amount of Australians involved. There are around 15 to 20 Australians including the new girls currently in rehearsals, a few Aussie boys, Aussie nude line dancers and Aussies in the dancer line. This makes the majority of the cast from Australia, France, and the United Kingdom.
“The director really likes Australians and auditions there often,” added Lauren.
Lauren has found the Moulin Rouge work-life balance is quite even. The first three weeks are intensive rehearsals, but after performances begin, rehearsals are reduced to once a month. Work for Lauren begins at 7:30pm so she has all day to discover Paris and indulge in the romantic culture and the dimly lit streets.
“I really enjoy the lifestyle, even if I have become a bit nocturnal with our late sleeping hours!”
One of the distinct characteristics of the Moulin Rouge is soft nudity presented by the women. Parisians and many around the world consider subtle nudity as an art form to the show. The Moulin Rouge was initially catered to please and pleasure the men of Paris by having women perform on the stage while revealing their panties. The show has evolved since it opened its doors by including both sexes in the Cancan and using nudity as a professional tool to create a work of artistry.
“There is a lot of nudity in the show, and it is done in the most tasteful way. The nude line dancers have beautiful costumes and lovely choreography. I didn’t really have a reaction to it when I watched the show, I just thought it looked really fun and liberating,” said Lauren.
Being in the Moulin Rouge does have its limitations. The dancers are considered the ultimate spectacle on the stage, where more than 630,000 spectators per year come to look at the physiques of the dancers. Thus, a strict dietary regime is in place where the dancers can only gain or lose one to two kilos during their contract. Haircuts and colours are strictly monitored as well. For males, in particular, it is essential they work out in the Moulin Rouge gym facilities every day in order to keep client appreciation high.
“If you get into the Moulin Rouge, the hard work doesn’t stop there—always keep pushing and striving to be better and have fun! It is very hard work and living away from home can be very tough and you can’t go back to Australia super often,” Lauren admits.
“But, I feel like the luckiest girl living in Paris, dancing with the most famous cabaret in the world! It really is a dream come true!”