19 May 1951, Alain Bernardin opened the "Crazy Horse Saloon" creating a unique style of performance, a mixture of artistic avant-garde, sensuality and humour. In 2011, the most avant-garde cabaret in Paris is celebrating its 60th birthday with the publication of two books turning the spotlight onto its magnificent dancers.
Crazy Inside by Antoine Poupel
Who better than Antoine Poupel to illustrate Crazy Inside?
Alain Bernardin was right on the nail again when he chose Antoine Poupel as the only male with exclusive access to photograph the dressing rooms at the Crazy and its dancers. The right to know and see, to watch and record… Once again, the visionary founder of the Crazy Horse understood what he needed: someone who would see the "girls" as artists and photograph them as moving moments of grace.
Antoine Poupel's photos offer us a unique journey through the amazing history of this little box of delights.
"It's been over twenty years since I began photographing the secret side of these "preparations for desire" and yet I never enter the dancers' dressing rooms without a slight sense of trepidation, which when I press the shutter, transports me into a world of confidences and bare skin" explains Antoine Poupel.
Crazy Inside by Antoine Poupel at Editions Du Chêne – 224 pages – 195 x 235 mm – €35
Softbound with magnetic closure
In bookshops on October 26, 2011
Crazy by Antoine Kruk
Designer of numerous costumes for this most famous of Paris nightclubs, Antoine Kruk, an illustrator and fashion designer, has been granted the rare privilege of access to the backstage area and the dancers' dressing rooms. Immersed in this feminine sanctuary, fascinated witness to the metamorphosis of these young women into icons of the evening, the artist has drawn inspiration from them for these portraits filled with sensuality and grace.
In one hundred beautiful watercolours, the artists lifts the veil on the Crazy's sensuous and glamorous dancers, both on stage and off. Laid out in three acts to echo the tempo of an evening, the before and after show pictures are cadenced with caricature and humour; as for the show itself, this is shown in a series of purely aesthetic watercolours, to reflect the fantastic metamorphosis of the dancers on stage. The book opens with a highly original preface bearing a kiss from each one of the "Crazy Girls"…
Antoine Kruk has taken his inspiration from the famous observation by Alain Bernardin "Total frustration: seeing everything and yet seeing nothing". His view of the founder: "He created the artistic nude, an incredible combination of sexual desire and abstraction, not unlike a drawing, which is what I am trying to recreate in reverse..."
Crazy by Antoine Kruk, from Editions Eyrolles – 96 pages – 150 x 210 mm – €25
Red velvet cover with silver ink and silver page edges
In bookshops on November 4, 2011
Commenting on these unique and valuable projects, Andrée Deissenberg, General Manager of the Crazy Horse added: "Both Antoine Poupel and Antoine Kruk have given us a perfect picture of those special moments spent in the dressing rooms or in rehearsal. Realism from one and humour from the other, these genuinely touching scenes beautifully express the beauty and love that inspire our shows, without parallel across the world. A complete homage to femininity…".back
Hilton McConnico designed the poster for Désirs.