By Maria Gregoriou
WHAT do you think about when you hear the words Moulin Rouge? Nicole Kidman singing about diamonds and Ewan McGregor promising he will love Satine until his dying day? Yes, the 2001 movie is very memorable and if you found yourself mystified with the songs and dance moves of the film, then you will love Moulin Rouge the ballet showing at K Cineplex in Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia tomorrow night.
The ballet comes from Canad’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, who held the performance’s world premiere in October of 2009. Since then over 60,000 people across North America have seen the production.
The two act ballet, just like the movie, takes place in Paris at the turn of the century, when the fresh taste for personal freedom made way for different lifestyles. The city’s promise of passion and love draws in Matthew (a painter) and Nathalie (a dancer) whose destiny leads them to the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret.
We first meet Matthew as he is robbed by gypsies immediately upon his arrival in the city. Nathalie enters the stage and it is love at first sight. As the two are involved in a dance of passion, the owner of the Moulin Rouge, Zidler enters. Everyone knows he is the man who can take dancers from the streets and into the shelter of the cabaret so the women on the street dance for him. He takes a shining to Nathalie and offers her a position at his night club. She accepts and leaves.
While on the street Matthew sketches and painter Toulouse-Lautrec sees him. Intrigued, the painter asks to see his work. After the two have a painting duel off, Lautrec suggests they go to the Moulin Rouge but Matthew says he has no money and is underdressed. Lautrec fixes that by getting him some fine clothes.
Nathalie sees Matthew and their spark becomes a flame. She takes him away so they can be alone, but when Zidler realises his new dancer has gone, he closes down the cabaret to look for her. The couple are on their way to a bridge by the Eiffel Tower when Zidler goes searching, but Toulouse distracts him before he can realise what is unfolding, thus ending the first act.
Act two starts with Toulouse drinking absinthe and dancing with a green fairy.We are then taken to the cabaret again where Nathalie is getting ready to meet Matthew but Zidler, who is obsessed with her, won’t let her go out and tries to seduce her. Toulouse comes to save the day and Natalie goes to find her love while being followed by Zidler. The couple meet but Zidler shows up and threatens to kill Matthew, so Nathalie leaves in order to protect her loved one.
Not willing to let the two be apart, Toulouse tells Matthew to disguise himself as a waiter so he can get back into the cabaret. That night while the two lovers try to escape through the mayhem of the cancan, the cabaret’s owner tries to kill Matthew but mortally wounds his heart’s desire instead. In a tragic turn of events, Matthew holds Nathalie as she dies in his arms.
So get your popcorn and get comfortable, this is a ride that will last for just over two hours and fill the screen with a story of love, ambition and heartbreak.
Screening of the ballet. December 10. K-Cineplex Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia. 7.30pm. €10. Tel: 24-819022