Folies Bergère  

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The Folies Bergère was a Parisian music hall.  Illustration: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by French painter Édouard Manet.
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The Folies Bergère was a Parisian music hall.
Illustration: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by French painter Édouard Manet.
Loie Fuller poster for the Folies Bergère in the late 19th century. (poster by PAL (Jean de Paléologue), printed by Paul Dupont)
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Loie Fuller poster for the Folies Bergère in the late 19th century.
(poster by PAL (Jean de Paléologue), printed by Paul Dupont)
Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for La Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background. (Photo by Walery)
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Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for La Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background.
(Photo by Walery)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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The Folies Bergère is a Parisian music hall which was at the height of its fame and popularity from the 1890s through the 1920s. As of 2008 the institution is still in business. The Folies Bergère inspired the Ziegfeld Follies in the United States and other similar shows. One of its most popular representations, Édouard Manet's 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaine, standing before a mirror.

Contents

History

Located at 32 rue Richer, in the 9th Arondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret. It was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London.

It opened on 2 May 1869 as the Folies Trévise, with fare including operettas, comic opera, popular song, and gymnastics.

The name was the word "folies", derived from the Latin word for "leaves" (foliae), connoting the idea of an outdoors entertainment venue, combined with the name of one of the adjacent streets, the "rue Trevise". (It was on the intersection of the rue Richter and the rue Trevise.) Unfortunately, the Duc de Trevise, a prominent nobleman, did not want people to think that he was associated with a bawdy dance hall. As a result, it was renamed the Folies Bergère on 13 September 1872, after another nearby street, the rue Bergère. [1]

Édouard Manet's 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaine, standing before a mirror.

The Folies Bergère catered to popular taste. Shows featured elaborate costumes; the women's were frequently revealing, and shows often contained a good deal of nudity. Shows also played up the "exoticness" of persons and things from other cultures, obliging the Parisian fascination with "négritude" of the 1920s.

Notable performers

In the early 1890s, the American dancer Loie Fuller starred at the Folies Bergères. Nearly thirty years later, Josephine Baker, an African-American expatriate singer, dancer, and entertainer, became an "overnight sensation" at the Folies Bergère in 1926 with her suggestive "banana dance", in which she wore a skirt made of bananas (and little else).

Other notable Folies Bergères performers have included singers Maurice Chevalier and Louisa Baileche, and comedian Cantinflas.

Similar venues

The Folies Bergère inspired the Ziegfeld Follies in the United States and other similar shows, including a long-standing revue at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Folies Bergère" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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