His Holiness Pope Francis isn’t the only European icon heading to Manhattan this week. For the first time in 126 years, the legendary Moulin Rouge of Paris comes to New York City. Anyone who has cried or sang along to the Baz Luhrmann film can accept what a momentous event this is in our lifetime, right?!
The internationally renowned company will perform in Times Square (and host a daily fashion show!) on September 26 and 27 as part of the Best of France Festival. In honor of the once in a lifetime event, BroadwayBox talked with Moulin Rouge press manager Fanny Rabasse to get the inside story on and a first look at the fabulous costume pieces heading to the States.
Creating one costume takes a team of a little more than 30 people. There’s one costume designer, Corrado Colabucci, a team about 30 ateliers and seamstresses who are directed by Mine Verges and Marie Calinski to create the pieces.
It is a very long process to create each unique costume. It takes approximately 130 hours because everything is carefully handmade, and our seamstresses are exceptionally detail oriented and take care to produce the highest quality for our dancers. They are a remarkable bunch of perfectionists!
All of the costumes and shoes are created in-house. Over the years we had acquired some of the few remaining workshops that specialize in creating our world-famous Cancan boots, feather & crystal production, and many more. Maison Clairvoy and Maison Fevrier are our in-house workshops.
Corrado Colabucci our Chief Designer, has been designing the costumes for the Moulin Rouge for the last two shows.
Our most notable design has to be the Cancan costumes. The design has remained the same since the Moulin Rouge opened its doors 126 years ago! It is definitely our oldest and widely recognized design still used to this day.
For our New York, USA tour we wanted to bring “a taste of Moulin Rouge” to the United States. We chose some spectacular costumes from our current shows, and some historic pieces that really embody the glamour and excitement that the Moulin Rouge has to offer.
In Paris for the current show Féerie, each dancer changes their costume & shoes 10 times per performance. We have about 60 dancers for each show, so that is 600 costumes and 800 pairs of shoes per show!
The heaviest costume of the current show Féerie is the one for the final for the show—8 kg [17.6 pounds] with a special light system built into it. The costume took 280 hours to make it, 77 meters of feathers for a total cost of $15,000 USD dollars; we currently have 45 of them made for the show.
We have many different headdresses, the heaviest weighs 2 kilos [4.4 pounds] and it's worn by the principal dancer and it's called the "The Lady with the flute hat".
The Moulin Rouge will perform live on 9/26 at 12:50 PM & 4:05 PM and on 9/27 at 11:20 AM & 4:30 PM. Fashion shows will occur at 2:20 PM on 9/26 and at 2:40 PM on 9/27.