I have to let you in on a little secret…
When I was 5 or 6 I had visions of being a can-can dancer.
Even at that tender age, I knew that can-can dancing would not be my full-time job. I would be a can-can dancer by night and a doctor by day, curing diseases and giving lollipops to children that came in for a doctor visit, even if they weren’t too cooperative and cried during their doctor visit.
I would select a song from my rather extensive eclectic record collection of 45’s & LP’s of favorite top 40 hits, movie soundtracks, broadway shows, belly dancing music and polka tunes.
I would then pick out a skirt from my “dress-up” clothes box. It contained some necklaces, a Halloween costume and a couple old skirts that my mother let me have. My usual favorite for the can-can-ning pretending was my Mom’s old full-circle cotton Madras skirt. The skirt had a grown up zipper on the side with a place for a button, which was missing. My mother had attached a huge silver safety pin and showed me how to open and close the safety pin so I could do it myself. The safety pin secured the rather huge adult skirt at the waistline, so the entire skirt did not fall off my waist when I danced.
This skirt was the best one in the box. It stuck straight out when I twirled. It was exceptional when you gathered the skirt in your hands to do the high can-can kicks.
In reality, the can-can dance only lasted a couple of songs played on that trusty green portable record player, because well, can-can high kicks can be exhausting. But the joyous exuberance of the memory has stayed with me to this very day, and most likely many years to come.
With the artwork Moulin Rouge I wanted to express the exuberance and joy this memory brought to me in a visual form. .