Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Secret Mask of the Cabaret

Top to bottom:
Chorus of the cabaret of Piccadilly Hotel (1925)
Film: Moulin Rouge (2001)

At the time, the shows in cabarets involved a seduction game with the public which wasn't found in a typical singing saloon. The performances also required an energetic dimension and something 'new' to make the crowd cheer even more; For example, La Goulue (Louise Weber) who is a precursor of the Cancan dance.

Left: La Goulue // Right: Jane Avril

Today, the sexual side has been accentuated, but if you ask a cabaret dancer what is the most important element in their presentation, they'll quickly mention the glitzy wardrobe they own, but they'll most certainly emphasise on the importance of makeup. As they go on stage, they leave their casual self behind and enter as another person - almost like actors. Their makeup, which is very exaggerated, screams out a personality. The most common look is the 'smokey grey eyes and perfectly applied scarlet lipstick'.

Makeup looks by Moderncraft and me

- S.

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