Kick Up Those Skirts & Show Those Knickers! Oui! Oui!

Seattle is super sunny today and it's Pride weekend, so I've decided to share a very high energy and colorful clip with you all today.

I'd like to present, for your viewing pleasure, the final scene from the film French Cancan (1954).

A little history about the can-can, from the book The Natural History of the Chorus Girl by Derek & Julia Parker (available on

The can-can, danced by a soloist or a chorus, was an even less artistic variant of the polka-piquee, in which the whole intention was to display the legs in a series of leaps and kicks and 'splits' - again, often without knickers: the can-can sans culottes was a dance which originally owed much more to the brothel ante-room than to the stage, and its intention was outright titillation, prostitutes being in attendance to satisfy the itches aroused in the customer. It was perhaps a dance more notorious than evident, though there is no doubt it was performed, and that stories of its aphrodisiac delights came back to convince potential tourists of the advantages of Paris.

This clip presents what may be a very historically accurate portrayal of the can-can at the Moulin Rouge. From ladies flying down from ropes in the balcony, to girls bursting through paper in the walls, this scene is FULL of energy and excitement.

In between moments of exciting formations and ridiculous splits tricks, we are presented with utter energetic chaos of girls spinning, dong cartwheels across the floors, screaming in excitement, legs kicking up in the air (as well as knickers!), and bodies generally flying all over the place.

Enjoy the French Cancan!

1 comment:

  1. About forty years ago I knew a man who had grown up in Paris, the son of a famous Australian painter (John Peter Russell) and a beautiful Italian model (Mariana Antoinetta Matiocco). He always insisted that the can-can was danced without knickers