brand new “LIDO” on the Champs Elysées is expected in April 2015 – Meanderings through France
Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny Surely the most famous cabaret of Paris the “LIDO” is going to go through huge transformations during the next few months. After ten yeras, the final performance of the present show called “Bonheur” (Happiness), is scheduled on December the 2nd... Then the theatre will be closed during four months until April the 2d 2015. Everything is going to change: the stage, the 120 tonnes machinery, the wings, the dining room, the theatre facade and of course the show. During the 1930’s the “LIDO” used to be the place where all of Paris went for leisure and recreation. It was decorated in Venetian style with canals and bridges and a swimming pool evoking the “Lido”, the famous Venice’s beach was actually called the “Paris’ beach”. In 1936 due to money troubles its owner had to sell it and the place was turned into a cabaret and the “dinner and show” formula was created. It was a great success and soon was imitated worldwide. Ever since the “LIDO” has been one of the most glamorous symbol of the Parisian nightlife with its famous dance company the “Bluebell Girls” dressed in sexy and extravagant costumes! After 26 shows made of singing and dancing turns interspersed with acrobatic, ice -skating, magician and many other kinds of performances, it is time to make a sensational leap forward the 21st century. To achieve this purpose the Sodexo Group, present owner of the “Lido”, has gathered a totally new team after years of investigations over the world. And what a team! Franco Dragone, one of the most well-known show-director in the world will use all his “savoir-faire” to put on the show. Franco Dragone was the founder and artistic director of the “Cirque du Soleil” a non-traditional circus production. You may remember his amazing shows called “Saltimboco”, “O”,”Mystere”, “La Nouba” mixing post-modern dance, music and circus acrobatics. In 2003 Céline Dion called upon him to create her show in Las Vegas. In 2014 he created two new shows in Asia: “The House of the Dancing Water” in Macau and the “Han Show” in China. For the “LIDO” he intends to tell a new story, an enchanted rediscovery of Paris using a huge LED screen, dark and light projections, a swimming pool, an ice-rink, a 12 meters high chandelier, a monumental staircase…. Helped by Jean Rabasse a French scenographer who works for film directors he will try to make the scene looks 3 times its size! Not less than 600 costumes are going to be created for the 70 dancers and artists. Nicolas Vaudelet who worked for Dior, Christian Lacroix, Louis Vuitton,Jean-Paul Gaultier as well as for Madonna will be the wardrobe maker. An opportunity to give free rein to his creativity: dresses made of optical fibers, blue crystals… And obviously the inevitable feathers! After an international career as a dancer and then as a dance company director from 2005 till 2013 when he directed the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, Benoit-Swan Pouffer is back in France where he was born, to create the new choreographies. Along with Jane Sansby ballet master of the “LIDO” for several years, he auditioned 500 dancers from London to Paris, from Berlin to New York and forty of them were talented enough to be selected. Since 25 yeas Yvan Cassar is a well-known composer of the French music world: movie directors as well as French and international singers called upon his talent to create their musical repertoire. He will work in association with Saule a Belgian singer, composer and songwriter well known since “Dusty Men” the duet he sings with Charlie Winston. Their songs will tell the story of a girl dreaming and succeeding to become the lead singer in a musical. If this theme is far from being new we can rely on this talented gathering to make it an artistic and technical innovation and we can expect that working together they will surpass all our expectations!