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cancan(kăn`kăn), a lively French dance marked chiefly by high kicking. It was developed in Paris in the 1830s and became a popular social dance there. By the mid-19th cent. it was incorporated into dance revues and stage productions. Jacques OffenbachOffenbach, Jacques Levy
, 1819–80, French composer, b. Cologne. The son of a cantor, he went to Paris to study at the conservatory and in 1849 became a conductor at the Théâtre Français.
..... Click the link for more information. wrote the best-known cancan music. Henri de Toulouse-LautrecToulouse-Lautrec, Henri de
, 1864–1901, French painter and lithographer, b. Albi. Son of a wealthy nobleman, Lautrec fell and broke both legs when he was a child. His permanently stunted growth has traditionally been seen as the result of this accident, but more recently
..... Click the link for more information. made celebrated paintings and lithographs of famous cancan dancers.
a French dance that emerged in Paris in the 1830’sat public balls. It is in 2/4 time, with an energetic, lively tempo. Characteristic steps are kicking out the legs and jumps. The dance was widely used in French classical operettas, especially those by the composer J. Offenbach (Orpheus in Hades, finale).Later, the cancan appeared on the stage of cafés chantants, where it acquired an extremely vulgar character. The French painter Toulouse-Lautrec often depicted women dancing the cancan.