PARIS – It’s the top of an generation for the famed Lido cabaret on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
Amid monetary troubles and converting occasions, the venue’s new company proprietor is ditching many of the Lido’s workforce and its high-kicking, high-glamour dance presentations — which date again a long time and impressed copycats from Las Vegas to Beirut — in choose of extra modest musical revues.
Dancers, different workers and union activists are collecting Saturday in entrance of the Lido to check out to avoid wasting their jobs and the historical past of the cabaret, recognized for its dinner theater and its “Bluebell Girls” revue. Artists plan a efficiency to pay homage to the venue.
“I feel sad. It sounds like the death of the cabaret as a place and a genre in Paris. The cabaret style made Paris what it is,” Jeremy Bauchet, an assistant ballet grasp on the membership, advised The Associated Press.
“The Lido is the temple of the Parisian cabaret revue in its most elegant, prestigious, and entertaining aspects. An enchanting interlude in a magic world unique in French spectacles.”
With onstage waterfalls, an ice rink and a pool, the Lido started wowing audiences before World War II and became an institution of Paris nightlife. It drew in performers, from Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich and Elton John to Laurel and Hardy, and famous spectators, too.
French hotels giants Accor recently bought the club and says it plans to lay off 157 of the 184 permanent employees. Artists and technicians will be the most affected. Accor said in a statement it wants to get rid of the costly dinner shows and revue because they “don’t attract the public anymore.” The group aims to “redesign” the presentations, and plans recovery works at the construction.
“The Lido will keep its name, but the cabaret will lose its soul. Because of the end of the revue and the layoff of 85% of staff, The Lido will become a basic venue that people rent,” stated Franck Lafitte, from the National Union of Artistic Activities.
The Lido, along the Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse and the Paradis Latin is likely one of the final Parisian cabarets. Until now it has presented two presentations according to night time, seven days every week, together with performances by way of dancers, singers, and the Bluebell Girls, a troupe based by way of Irish dancer Margaret Kelly in 1932. Kelly, referred to as Miss Bluebell, toured along with her troupe the world over and helped encourage a Las Vegas Lido franchise.
An on-line petition to avoid wasting the Bluebell Girls revue has been signed by way of over 50,000 other folks.
“When the Lido reopened after World War II, people wanted to have fun. The Clerico brothers who bought the place wanted to make it a high-end venue. They invented the concept of dinner shows, which inspired other venues,” stated Sonia Rachline, writer of a guide in regards to the Lido.
“The shows are very French and Parisian, thanks to the sophistication of costumes and the precision of dance moves, but it also has this American madness inspired by musicals,” Rachline added.
But whilst the Moulin Rouge benefited from a revival of pastime after Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, the Lido has struggled with a drop in attendance and financial troubles irritated by way of the COVID-19 disaster. To some, the presentations appear more and more old-fashioned. In 2015, the Lido attempted to reinvent itself with a brand new revue by way of a Cirque du Soleil director who sought to empower the dancers and display that “women are not objects,” nevertheless it wasn’t as a success as was hoping.
Accor stated the cabaret has misplaced 80 million euros ($85.6 million) over the last decade. Lido workers be expecting to lose their jobs this summer season.
People who’ve labored on the Lido — from dancers to dressmakers, dressing room workforce and behind the curtain technicians — described the membership with an surprisingly non-public attachment.
“No other venue had waterfalls, an ice rink, and a pool,” retired Lido set fashion designer Yves Valente advised the AP. “The Lido has exceptionally fast machinery and special effects.”
Many present workers are afraid to talk publicly in regards to the control determination for worry that may jeopardize their makes an attempt to avoid wasting their jobs. One dancer pleaded, “the Lido can’t disappear,” and repeated the membership’s motto: “The Lido is Paris.”
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