Moulin Rouge: love and loss in dance

showgirlsI’ve been remiss in not posting about this sooner – but schedules have been such that it was only this weekend that I managed to see Moulin Rouge, the latest show performed by Alma Fushikizoh and Blysse Biondi’s Showgirls. And I wish I’d seen it sooner.

Putting on any live show in Second Life is never easy, as any artist will tell you. A “simple” concert can be prone to a wide variety of problems at the best of times, particularly when Second Life wants to really misbehave and start crashing people. When you’re trying to combine a stage piece with live / streamed music and / or Voice, the issues can frequently be compounded – trying to get everyone moving at the right time, combatting lag, ensuring dances are correctly synced, the music is streaming correctly – it all takes time, patience, understanding and a lot of hard work by the cast and crew.


As such, Moulin Rouge – which is probably best described as a dance interpretation of key songs and scenes from Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 version of the film Moulin Rouge! which featured Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and John Leguizamo – is a daring undertaking.

Conceived by Blysse Biondi, directed by Alma Fushikizoh, and produced by Alma, Blysse and Ayesha Lytton, and with choreography by Alma and Dixie Barbosa (animations), the show currently runs through until the 24th of March, with performances on Saturday and Sunday nights commencing at 18:00 SLT at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego – and it really is worth seeing.

Moulin Rouge is being staged at the Balboa Theatre, March 16/17 and 23/24 at 18:00
Moulin Rouge is being staged at the Balboa Theatre, March 16/17 and 23/24 at 18:00

With a cast of ten, and dance numbers of significant complexity – performers being both synced to one another and to the music while at times performing entirely separate dance sequences to one another – Moulin Rouge really does need to be seen, rather than described. The stage sets themselves are both original and familiar, encompassing both the famous red windmill of Le Moulin Rouge itself, as well as representing the interior of the great cabaret club in a reflection of scenes from Luhrmann’s movie.

Moulin Rouge: Satine (Jaine Elvehjem) flanked by Christian (Mischievious John) and Toulouse Lautrec (Mishimaishi Resident) with the Showgirl dancers in one of the show's several complex routines
Moulin Rouge: Satine (Jaine Elvehjem) flanked by Christian (Mischievious John) and Toulouse Lautrec (Mishimaishi Resident) with the Showgirl dancers in one of the show’s several complex routines

Each dance interprets a key scenes from the film, including Satine’s arrival via trapeze, Jacek Koman’s gutteral rendition of Roxanne in El Tango Roxanne, together with The Show Must Go OnNature Boy and Hindi Sad Diamonds, and, of course, Come What May. With a total of eight dance “acts”, the entire show runs for some 30 minutes, and not even SL deciding to be especially mischievous on the night I sat down in the theatre (a dancer crashed immediately prior to curtain-up, then two more suffered the same fate during El Tango Roxanne – one of who was operating the stage HUD) could dampen the enthusiasm of both cast and audience.

El Tango Roxanne - Moulin Rouge
El Tango Roxanne – Moulin Rouge

As mentioned above, Moulin Rouge has four more performances currently planned for the Balboa Theatre, on the 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th March. It is a show worth seeing.

Tips on Attending

Live performances in virtual worlds frequently face challenges such as lag. Virtual Dance is no exception to this, particularly as it involves a lot of scripting and gestures. To assist in the audience’s enjoyment of the show, therefore, patrons attending any presentation of Moulin Rouge are respectively asked to consider:

  • Arriving early: performances can be held up as a result of a lot of people arriving just before the curtain is due to go up, and who inevitably suffer rendering delays, problems getting audio streaming active, etc. A slightly earlier arrival ensures these things can be dealt with easier and without the fear of missing part of the show
  • Reducing lag both in the viewer and on the region where the performance is taking place by: removing any heavily scripted HUDs and other items; wearing lower-prim hair; dispensing with the bling;  turning off nametags / Show Lookat to reduce the number of things your viewer has to process
  • Making sure all microphones are off if Voice is used within SL. If someone does leave their microphone open, the gentle thing to do is to open the “Active Speakers” list or “Nearby Voice” list, select the person, and roll the volume slider at the bottom of the window down
  • Keeping calm: most performances encourage audience reactions in local chat.  It helps the performers know that you are there and having a good time.   However, please save such noisemaking until it is time to applaud
  • Turning on Quiet Snapshots, if taking photos.
Christian and
Christian (Mischievious John) and Satine (Jaine Elvehjem) in the finale of Moulin Rouge

Related Links

Viewer release summary 2013: week 10

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information as the week progresses
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: March 10th, 2013

  • SL Viewer updates:
      • Beta viewer rolled to on March 6th – core update: CHUI
      • Development viewer rolled to on March 8th – core update: CHUI integration (wiki page)
      • Sunshine (server-side baking project) updated to, March 7th
      • Merchant Outbox project viewer re-released – – on March 8th, to assist with DD migration
  • Kokua updated to release 3-5-1-27279 on March 9th – core updates: CHUI crash fix
  • Niran’s Viewer updated to 2.1.2 on March 7th; then 2.1.3 on March 11th – core updates: UI updates; updates to texture handling
  • Cool VL updated on March 9th to:
    • Stable version:
    • Legacy version (v2.6 renderer):
    • Experimental version:
    • Release notes
  • Lumiya release version 2.4.4 on March 7th – core updates: rez objects in-world, unpacking inventory from objects, create landmarks option
  • Metabolt released version (Beta) on March 10th – core updates: ability to update & save Picks; support for Marketplace received items notifications; support for region messages; optional bandwidth setting under application/preferences; numerous enhancements
  • Radegast released version 2.10 on March 9th – core updates: ability to see inventory item’s UUID; option to disable HTTP inventory; ability to see role IDs; new LSL scripted object functions (invite to groups; send inventory; send IM); upgrade FMOD Ex to 4.44; rlv improvements; group info dialogue & object tracker performance improvements; user-defined AI time delays; plus bug fixes

Discontinued Viewers

  • Phoenix officially reached end-of-line for SL on December 31st – read more here
  • Zen viewer was withdrawn from the SL TPV directory and all repositories shutdown on January 27th, 2013.

Related Links