Le Cabaret


 Le cabaret… c’est magnifique! Cabaret shows and burlesque dancing were around for quite a while before Dita Von Tease made it fashionable for modern society. About 100+ years before she came around in fact. The first cabaret opened in the Montmartre arrondissement of Paris in 1881. “Cabaret Artistique” is was called, but was shortly renamed to Le Chat Noir. You will have seen the posters. That black cat is everywhere.

cabaretAfterwards came the famous Moulin Rouge in Pigalle, not far from Montmartre, and the Folies Bergère in the 9th arrondissements. The Lido on the Champs-Elysées finishes out this list of iconic venues in the City of Lights.

So, what’s it like at an actual show? Well, let’s go inside.




It’s going to be dark…. and moody. There will be music playing, show music purposely choreographed to heighten the drama. Patrons will be sitting at tables, clinking glasses and chatting amongst themselves in anticipation of the main event. This is not merely a dance recital – this is a show, in the truest sense of the word. The master of ceremonies booms through the speakers an introduction, and it begins!



I can’t describe in sufficient words the atmosphere of the beginning of a show, but think of a festival. Bright colors, elaborate costumes, out-of-this-world themes. Now add to that the grace of the dancers, their stage presence, and the theatrics. That’s pretty much the sensations you experience. It’s sensory overload, in the most pleasurable way. The dancers play a primary role, naturally. But they are not the only act of the evening. Cabarets include music, comedy, acrobats, song and other performances. The Moulin Rouge even has a bit when a girl swims in a water tank with snakes. C’est spectaculaire!



 In case you are ever in Paris and happen to have an evening free, you cannot go wrong in seeing one of these shows. Here are the details on the top venues in Paris:

Féerie_-_Moulin_Rouge_PosterMoulin Rouge

Arguably one of the most well-known shows in all of the world, made even more so by the 2001 blockbuster film of the same name. There are two shows every night of the week, a 9pm show with the option of dinner at 7pm, and an 11pm late show. It would be a good idea to make a reservation in advance. It is located at 82 Blvd de Clichy, 75018. The nearest metro stop is Blanche, on the line 2.




le-lidoLe Lido

This show rivals that of its counterpart at Moulin. Again, there are two shows each night, one at 9pm with the dinner option and one at 11pm. There are many reservation options here, so look into it ahead of time to plan the ideal evening. The address is 116 bis Ave des Champs-Elysées, 75008. Take the metro line 1 to station Georges V or the RER A to Charles de Gaules Etoile (*not the airport – make note).





Crazy_Horse_DesirsLe Crazy Horse

This show is more risqué than the previous two, given that the dancers do dance completely nude at times. But, it is done in a tasteful and decidedly non-sexual way. More artistic than seedy, as only Paris can do. Two shows every evening, 8:15pm and 10:45pm. Dinner options are available as well. Make your reservations ahead of time again. This address is 12 Ave George V, 75008. Take the metro line 9 to Alma-Monceau or the line 1 to Georges V – Franklin D. Roosevelt.




{Photography courtesy of Diane Robertson}


  • I’ve been to the Moulin Rouge, and since we’ve gone I think they’ve switched up the show so I can’t wait to go back again! It was unlike any other show I’ve ever been to.

    • Isn’t it fabulous!! If you loved Moulin, just wait for tomorrow – I have an interview with one of the dancers!! 🙂

  • I would love to see one of these shows! I love how you took us through it and your photos are fabulous!

    • You should!! They are really fun and have some great acts. I didn’t take these photos (a girl name Diane Robertson did) as cameras are forbidden. She’s a professional photographer though and used to be a dancer there herself, so she gets a press pass! 🙂