Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet

Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet

Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet

Live Music Benefactor: The Asper Foundation

Drawn to Paris by the city’s passion, a flame fuelled by the hearts of lovers and the souls of poets, Matthew and Nathalie tempt fate as they seek love and destiny at the infamous cabaret – The Moulin Rouge®. Seen and adored by over 125,000 people across North America, Europe, and Asia, Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet returns with a flurry of high-kicking choreography set to a rousing French soundtrack.

The most famous cabaret in history, the Moulin Rouge has been the subject of many books, paintings, movies and musicals ‐ birthplace of the Cancan and home to a cast of outrageous dancers known as the Diamond Dogs. When the Moulin Rouge opened, Paris was a city of exquisite contradiction; art was both elevated and abused, pomp and excess ran hand in hand with poverty and hardship, and the heady elixir of personal freedom bred lifestyles that were often reckless and addictive.

Moulin Rouge - The Ballet is a triumph ... stunningly beautiful ... it’s moments like this that make ballet fans out of people who think they don’t like ballet.
Atlanta InTown, 2010 (Atlanta Ballet))

With its giant, lit-up windmill, whipsawing cancans, and rainbow-ruffled costumes, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Moulin Rouge—The Ballet certainly has enough eye candy to please the crowds
The Georgia Straight, 2009

Moulin Rouge Logo

MOULIN ROUGE® is a registered trademark of Moulin Rouge S.A.

A brief history of the Moulin Rouge of Paris

  • 6 October 1889: The Moulin Rouge opens at the foot of the Montmartre hill. The aim of its founders, Jospeh Oller and Charles Zidler, is to allow the very rich to come and slum it in a fashionable district, where people live differently from other parts of Paris. The place attracts men and women, the middle classes and rich foreigners passing through Paris as well as artists and ordinary folk. There was much laughter at the many acts that became famous (Pétomane, the clowns Footit and Chocolat etc). The French cancan, a new dance inspired by the quadrille, enchanted the spectators. Nicknamed “The First Palace of Women” by Oller and Zidler, the cabaret quickly becomes a great success.
  • The first revue, “Circassiens et Circassiennes” is launched in April 1890. Toulouse-Lautrec creates the posters for the Moulin Rouge from 1891, the first being “La Goulue”.
  • 29 July 1907: first appearance of Mistinguett on stage at the Moulin Rouge in the “Revue de la Femme”. The following year she has a huge success with Max Dearly in “la Valse chaloupée”.
  • Until the First World War, the Moulin Rouge becomes a real temple of operetta. Further successful shows followed: “Voluptata”, “La Feuille de Vigne”, “le Rêve d’Egypte” “Tais-toi tu m’affoles” and many others, each with a more evocative title than the last.
  • After the war, Francis Salabert takes charge of the Moulin Rouge. The cabaret then experiences a new popularity thanks to Jacques-Charles and Mistinguett - their shows that were to become mythical: “la Revue Mistinguett” (1925), “Ça c’est Paris” (1926), “Paris qui tourne” (1928). American revues, including the Hoffmann Girls, are put on for the first time in Paris.
  • In the 1930s, the ballroom is transformed into the most ultra-modern Night Club of the time. The Moulin Rouge welcomes the Cotton Club in 1937.
  • 22 June 1951: Georges France, called Jo France, founder of the Balajo, acquires the Moulin Rouge and starts major renovation work. The evening dances, the acts and of course the famous French cancan are all back at the Moulin Rouge, and famous artists follow one on the other (Luis Mariano, Charles Trénet, Charles Aznavour, Line Renaud, Bourvil, Fernand Raynaud, Lena Horne).
  • 1955: Jo France transfers the Moulin Rouge to the brothers Joseph and Louis Clerico who already own the Lido. The famous French cancan is still performed, soon choreographed by Ruggero Angeletti and danced by the “Doriss Girls”.
  • 1962: Jacki Clerico, son of Joseph Clerico, takes charge of the Moulin Rouge. It is the start of a new era: Enlargement of the auditorium, installation of a giant aquarium and the first aquatic ballet
  • Since 1963 and the success of the “Frou-Frou” revue, out of superstition Jacki Clerico chooses only revue titles starting with the letter F. Ten revues followed up to 1999 and the launch of the current revue “Féérie”.
  • October 2019: the emblematic Moulin Rouge, famous around the world, has celebrated its 130th anniversary!

Featured Creative Team


    Jorden Morris

    Lighting Design

    Pierre Lavoie


    Various Composers


    Rick Skene

    Costume Design

    Anne Armit & Shannon Lovelace

    Make-up Design

    Melissa Gibson

    Set & Properties Design

    Andrew Beck