Crazy Horse Paris: All savoir-faire, no smut

A scene from Upside Down.
Backstage with the dancers.
Backstage with the dancers.
A scene from Upside Down. Backstage with the dancers. Backstage with the dancers.

IT is important to get one thing clear from the start when discussing the Crazy Horse Paris touring show Forever Crazy – this is cabaret of the highest calibre with no smut in sight.

Billed as presenting 65 years of naked couture, the Parisian production celebrates Alain Bernardin’s vision which came to fruition when he opened his Crazy Horse Paris cabaret venue in 1951 and has since become a Parisian nightlife institution for admiring the female form.

Entrenched in history, the Paris show continues while this touring tribute to Bernardin has travelled to Australia for the first time with a cast of 12 “Crazy Girls”, each a classically trained dancer and fitting within a strict set of physical requirements.

The Palms at Crown in Melbourne was the first stop on the Australian Crazy Horse Paris schedule. Crown Theatre Perth is up next from September 6.

Melbourne’s opening night on Wednesday week was an evening full of glitz, glitter, sizzle and unbridled sass as the audience was transported to glamorous Paris complete with cabaret-style seating, a feature also available in Perth.

The Eiffel Tower and bright red lips projected on screens either side of the intimate stage setting made way for images of the seductive dancers as they began the traditional opening number God Save Our Bareskin which was choreographed by a lieutenant in the British Army.

Wearing Bearskin hats and Christian Louboutin heels, they presented the royal horse guard-inspired number featuring canons executed with military precision.

Projection and lighting effects are a huge component in the visual success of Crazy Horse Paris, the dancers’ bare skin creating an ideal canvas while performing their way through this “best of” show with numbers ranging from the legs galore Upside Down performed to Toxic and playful Dessous Dessus choreographed to Need You Tonight, to the cheeky (in more ways than one) Baby Buns and fun finale U Turn Me On.

Despite a strict “no men in the dressing rooms policy”, Forever Crazy does have special attraction Robert Muraine, aka Mr Fantastic, a dancer who starred on America’s So You Think You Can Dance, who pops and contorts with entertaining ease.

With Perth audiences exposed to the bare delights presented annually during Fringe World Festival, Crazy Horse Paris’s Forever Crazy is a class act sure to be embraced as they take cabaret to another level.

The season at Crown Theatre Perth is on September 6 to 23.

CRAZY HORSE PARIS FAST FACTS

More than 800 dancers have performed in a Crazy Horse Paris show since it began.

Dancers must be between 1.68 and 1.73m with a distance of 21cm between nipples.

Dita Von Teese was the first guest star in 2006 and others since include Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra and Conchita Wurst.

It takes one seamstress a week to make one costume.

At least six pairs of shoes are tailor-made for each dancer.

The dancers use 500L of makeup, 300 Crazy Red lipsticks, 720 pairs of false eyelashes and 2500 pairs of stockings each year.