Franco Dragone re-enchants the Lido

By | Category: Travel destinations
dancers on the chandelier

dancers on the chandelier made from 40,000 crystals

After reinventing circus shows with the “Cirque du Soleil” in Canada and creating no less than 10 new shows in just 14 years from 1985 till 1999; after conceiving the show “A New Day” for Céline Dion in Las Vegas in 2009 which was watched by three million; after becoming a major show creator in China where a 2000 seats theatre has especially been built for him in Wuhan in 2014 and after so many other magical events what was left for Franco Dragone to do? He took up the challenge to conceive the 26th Lido revue “Paris Merveilles” in Paris.

some of the feathers

some of the feathers

When the present owners of the Lido, this emblem of Paris’ nightlife for almost 70 years, decided to put on a new revue it took 3 years of intensive research through the world for Nathalie Bello-Szabo, the president of the Lido, to find the one man to match her expectations and ambition. As Franco Dragone says creating this revue ‘forced him to push and surprise himself in order to captivate others’. And the result is absolutely stunning!

Figures illuminate the challenge: 2 million Swarovski crystals, 100 kilos (220 lb) of ostrich feathers, a five-meter high chandelier made with 40,000 crystals, a 20,000 watt PA system, 60 artists on stage, 22 dressers, 11 costume makers, €25 million euros (£18 million) invested in renovating the stage and its machinery, 8 designers working for 1,000 hours to create videos and new sets… And 300,000 bottles of Champagne to be drunk every year!

impressive costumes...

impressive costumes…

Choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer and the Dragone’s casting team auditioned 500 dancers from Europe and the United States to select 46 dancers. Coming from the contemporary dance world as a dancer and as choreographer for the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, Pouffer instilled a totally new spirit to revue dancing. Get ready for a revolutionary can-can!

As soon as the show begins you will get caught up in videos and projections making the stage look twice as big as it did before. Poetic, dramatic, colourful images trick the eyes, and widen the stage space in all directions. Five LED screens and six different curtains serve as supports for these animated projections. Dragone’s magical touch takes you into a new universe.

...impressive sets

…impressive sets

Manon who was discovered by the French audience during the 2014 edition of “The Voice”, sings tailor made songs ranging from swing to soul and from jazz to romance. Her powerful mezzo-soprano voice might well give you goose bumps or make the hair at the back of your neck stand up!

Veiling or unveiling the artists, the costumes designed by Nicolas Vaudelet who worked for Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix, are also a technical prowess: there is a debauchery of feathers, cascades of crystals glued one by one on the dresses, 600 costumes, 250 pairs of shoes, 200 hats, feminine tuxedos… the list can go on and on!

...impressive miming

…impressive miming

Attractions have always been at the heart of the tradition of the revue and Franco Dragone wanted them to be as innovative as possible to match the new spirit of this third millennium revue. Believe me, he certainly reached his goal: seeing such talented artists on stage will touch your heart and emotions will overwhelm you.

...impressive acrobatic dancing

…impressive acrobatic dancing

Dressed in red from head to toe, an amazing mime mesmerizes the audience, then a couple of acrobatic dancers both powerful and graceful achieve astonishing lifts. Acrobats, clowns, dancers, ice skaters, a sword swallower will take you from tears to laughter and from astonishment to awe.

and impressive staging.

and impressive staging.

The Lido is waiting for you to surprise you like never before, so let yourself be carried away by “Paris Merveilles” and Franco Dragone’s magical creativeness.


Text © Annick Dournes

Photos © Frederic de Poligny (with the personal authorisation of Franco Dragone)


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