Saturday, May 2, 2009

a kiss in history of cabaret

scene from The Blue Angel

Wintergarten, Berlin

A form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance,
and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue -
a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances
and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking),
watching the performance being introduced by a 
master of ceremonies.

Cabaret also refers to a Mediterranean-style brothel -
a bar with tables and women who mingle with and 
entertain the clientele.  Traditionally these establishments 
can also feature some form of stage entertainment: 
often singers and dancers.

The first cabaret was opened in 1881 in Montmartre, Paris:
Rodolphe Salís' "cabaret artistique."  Shortly after it
was founded, it was renamed Le Chat Noir.  It became a 
locale in which up-and-coming cabaret artists could try 
their new acts.

The Moulin Rouge, built in 1889 in the red-light district 
of Pigalle near Montmartre, is famous for the large, 
red imitation windmill on its roof.

The Cabaret 1921 :: A.A. Deineka



The Folies-Bergère continued to attract a large number 
of people even though it was more expensive than other 
cabarets.  People felt comfortable at the cabaret.  They did 
not have to take off their hat, could talk, eat, and smoke 
when they wanted to, etc.  They did not have to stick to 
the usual rules of society.  At the Folies-Bergère, as in many 
cafés-concerts, there were a variety of acts: singers, dancers, 
jugglers, and clowns.

In the United States, cabaret diverged into several different 
styles of performance mostly due to the influence of 
Jazz Music.  Chicago cabaret focused intensely on the larger 
band ensembles and reached its peak in the of the 
Prohibition Era.

Cabaret is currently undergoing a renaissance of sorts
in the United States, particularly in New Orleans, Seattle 
and Portland, as new generations of performers reinterpret 
the old forms in both music and theatre.