It has become the most famous show in the world as the dancers of the Moulin Rouge high-kicked their way to become icons of exotic glamour and legendary champagne-fuelled nights.
But a trio of Scots in the line-up – Sarah Tandy, Lucy Monaghan and Michaela Rondelli – have revealed how they prefer bubbles of a different kind, made in Scotland from girders.
The talented trio are part of the 60-strong chorus treading the boards in the iconic Parisian theatre six nights a week and, with two shows and 24 costume changes a night, it’s hard work.
On a visit home, the girls revealed what sees them through is friendship and a secret stash of Irn-Bru.
Michaela, from Almondbank, Perthshire, said: “We may live and work in Paris, but we’ll always be Scots girls at heart.
“When I come back to Scotland, I go round the girls and ask if they want anything brought from back. The response is always Irn-Bru.”
The 26-year-old, who has been dancing the can-can with the Moulin for three-and-a-half years, added: “It’s funny how you miss the little luxuries, like potato scones and drinking water straight from the tap.”
Michaela, Sarah and Lucy have formed a close bond.
“It’s amazing to have fellow Scots around,” Sarah, 37, from Whitburn, said. “Hearing a Scottish accent really makes you feel like you’re in a home from home.”
Lucy, 28 from Glasgow, added: “I’ve met so many lovely people since joining the Moulin seven years ago and they’ll all be friends for life.”
Next month the Moulin Rouge, which opened it’s doors in Montmartre in 1889, celebrates its 130th anniversary.
With the milestone approaching, the girls came home this week to showcase Moulin Rouge stage costumes at the prestigious Lunch with an Old Bag event at Edinburgh’s Prestonfield House, in aid of the Princes Trust.
The dance troupe’s wardrobe included historical pieces, such as the black, red and silver snake number worn by Jane Avril in the original Toulouse-Lautrec posters.
They were also filming for a documentary to be aired on BBC Alba on Christmas Day.
Straight after her first dance class at the age of six, Michaela told her mum she wanted to be a performer for a living.
“I went to a local class, doing tap, ballet and Highland dance,” she said.
“My mum and gran used to be Highland dancers, doing the Highland Games.
“I was more into ballet and at 16 went to the London Studio Centre in London, where I spent three years getting my BA Hons degree in theatre dance.
“That was the deal I made with mum – if I studied dance, I had to do an academic course so I had a fall-back.”
From the age of 19 to 23, Michaela danced on cruise ships around the world but her dream was always to dance at the famous red windmill-shaped theatre.
She auditioned for Moulin Rouge on a Friday afternoon three years ago and the following Monday she was high-kicking on the cabaret’s famous stage.
“It was my dream job,” she said.
“Every six months I would email Moulin and ask if there were auditions coming up – but I could never make them as I was tied into a dance contract.
“Then one came up in Paris and I thought ‘This is my chance’.
“Every time I step onto that stage and feel the atmosphere, I just can’t wipe the smile off my face.”
But two years ago the gruelling dance schedule took it’s toll on Michaela and she had to take nine months off after suffering the same hip cartilage injury as Andy Murray.
She said: “Because of the repetitive nature of dance, I had worn away my cartilage on two sides.
“I had to have resurfacing surgery. But four and a half months later I was back on stage, and a few months after that I was back doing can-can.
“I was determined to get back to it.”
Landing the role as lead dancer is a dream come true for Sarah Tandy who has been with Moulin Rouge for nearly 13 years.
The Parisian cabaret not only gave her a career but led her to love after she fell for husband David, also a principal dancer in Moulin Rouge.
They have been together for 12 years and tied the knot five years ago at Linlithgow Palace and now have a two-year-old son, Elliot.
“David and I are partners just as much on the stage as we are off,” Sarah said. “Some people say it can’t be ideal working with your husband, but it works for us.
“In fact, when David lifts me on stage, it’s just smooth.”
Little Elliot is already keen to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
“He loves to dance,” Sarah said. “And, when you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says be in the Moulin Rouge.”
Sarah first dipped her toe into the world of dance aged five.
Ten years later, she enrolled at Preston Dance College. After joining Moulin Rouge at 19, she took a break for four years before returning to the famous show.
“I was never really academic at school,” Sarah confessed. “So it was an easy decision for me to follow dance.”
Straight after college her mum spotted that Moulin was holding auditions in Scotland and encouraged Sarah to go along.
“I did a bit of can-can, a jazz routine and a few cartwheels – and was offered a job on the show right there and then,” she said.
“It’s so glamorous doing the shows.
“Sometimes I feel like a big kid, getting dressed up in heels and sparkles.
“The costumes are incredible – but it takes a lot to learn how to dance in them.
“They’re big and heavy. In fact, I think the finale backpacks used to be about 12 kilos but are closer to five now! Learning how to carry yourself in them – and keep smiling throughout – is quite something.
“But when you do two shows six nights a week, it becomes second nature.”
“Joining Moulin was the best decision I’ve ever made.
“It has given me everything – a job, a husband and a family.
“I started my career at Moulin and that’s where I hope to retire.
“I guess it’s true what they say…once a Moulin showgirl, always a Moulin showgirl.”
Aged just 11 Lucy Monaghan announced to her parents that she was going to be professional dancer. When it came to starting secondary school, she persuaded her parents to let her audition for a place at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland, in Glasgow.
“The decision purely came from me,” she said.
“My parents never discouraged me from dance but they did say getting good grades was important, largely because in such a physical career you just never know what’s going to happen.” After school, Lucy studied at London’s Central School of Ballet.
“When I was in my third year, I saw an audition for Moulin Rouge taking place in Oslo and decided to go for it.
“By the time I finished school, I had been offered a job. I’ve been with the Moulin for seven years now and I’ve loved every minute.
“You just can’t beat having the opportunity to perform every night. The theatre holds 1,000 people and there’s never a spare seat. The atmosphere is electric and being part of something so huge is an honour.”