It’s hard to imagine now, but once upon a time my summers we’re spent having fun. Before adulthood and multimillion dollar corporations absorbed hours away from my youth, I would volunteer as a dance camp monitor. Summer of ’13 was the year I discovered my absolute passion for motion. I never realized the agility and beauty associated with the human body until I stepped foot inside a dance studio. I was most definitely not the best dancer of the bunch. Little girls between the ages of 5-10 picked up choreography faster than I ever could; but in my defence it was my first time trying. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I absolutely loved it. Dance isn’t just a sport for me, it’s art. It encompasses knowing how to control your body, in addition to somehow surprising yourself with what it can do. That summer I didn’t only realize that I had a passion for dance, but I also had a passion for passion.
One of those summer days my friend Gaby was telling us about how she danced to “Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge!, and I was the only one who didn’t know what she was talking about. I had never heard of Moulin Rouge! she was in complete awe, and had the clip playing before I could even blink. Then I was in awe. The raspy cry for help, the passion of Tango, and the diamonds ripped from Satine’s throat had me flushed. That night the stars aligned and Moulin Rouge! was playing on Lifetime. It was meant to be. I locked myself in the basement and watched the whole thing through commercials and all. The only real backstory I had known prior to my viewing was that it was musical about a courtesan (which I learnt was the fancy french word for an upscale prostitute) Satine, and that it has one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. I had no idea it was a love story. I had no idea it was a tragedy.
Paris: the city of Love. My entire life I have heard that saying and I had never understood it. Why Paris? Is it the Eiffel Tower that makes it so enchanting? I went to Paris last spring and every doubt I ever had was answered. Paris is a city with a passion for passion. “The French are glad to die for love” sang the sparkling diamond. Between the architecture, and world famous Rue Pigalle in the 9th Arrondissement, any visitor is smothered in a craving for lust. Paris made me feel sexy and empowered, as any woman should. Seeing Moulin Rouge in person from the window of my tour bus definitely had me pressing my forehead against the glass the absorb as much majesty as I could of that iconic red building. I could just imagine Satine hanging from a swing with her luscious red lips, that passionate universe was all just a few steps away. I wish I could have seen it at night all lit up. When Satine preforms “One Day I’ll Fly Away” from the balcony of her love chamber; in the midst of night she has the wish to escape the life of a courtesan to be a real actress, and more importantly be able to love. Was the money and the status worth the price of loneliness? Satine was the most wanted woman in all of Paris, and she was denied being able to love. Thanks to the wonderful Christian, in “Elephant Song Medley” which soon follows Satines solo, he confesses his love for her and proves to her that they should be together. All while on the balcony, in the middle of the night, surrounded by red and gold, flushed in passion and overcome with tragedy their duet portrayed confessions of their forbidden love; it left me signing alone at the top of my lungs at 12:30 AM with no shame.
Moulin Rouge! is full of bright colours and beautiful songs. An eye catcher for anyone with eyes. “I will love you util the end of time” some think those are just wedding vows, but they are the most beautiful lines of “Come What May”. I’ve been wanting to be married since the day I was born. I wanted to be married by 20, until I actually tried dating and realized that maybe it would be smart to rethink that idea. It is impossible to have a partner in life that you do not still hold undying lust for. More importantly I realized that it is impossible to love someone who doesn’t have a passion for anything. Passion, lust, jealousy and desire are the foundation of all greatest love stories. I tried living my own. Don’t we all? I found a nice boy, and I wanted to make him my Christian, but he became my Duke. He held me back from love. He bought me diamonds and he saw a future with me, but he didn’t love anything. I couldn’t love him.
All greatest milestones in this musical happen though performance: song and dance. However, one of the greatest lines ever delivered we’re from a side character, and they we’re shouted. Not sung. “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” Love is what keeps this world alive. The slightest glimmer of love spread finer than dust over the Earth is the only reason that civilisation is moving forward. Humans need affection, we need a mothers love to grow, and we need love to be happy. The question is: in who’s arms do I wish to spend my final moments alive?
Every day is a performance, an act we play in our own private show; and the show must go on. Satine was a creature of the underworld, she couldn’t afford love but her show had to go on. Her destiny was tragedy. She sacrificed herself for the love of her life, for Moulin Rouge, and for the performance. She will be forever remembered in beauty, but also in love. The love she had was undying, even in death she made sure the love story she shared with Christian would live far beyond their time. He called it a love that will live forever. Love is not for the highest bidder. Find your passion, and above all things, believe in love.