I met Aurore Tome' briefly about two years ago and was always intrigued by her job: Aurore is a principal dancer for the world famous Lido nightclub. I thought getting the inside scoop on a real showgirl would be a fun and eye opening interview. We met at Le Dome cafe on rue St. Antoine for a hot chocolate, and Aurore's warmth matches her striking beauty.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Metz and grew up in Hameau de Brabrant Anderny, a small town in the Lorraine region of France.
How did you come to live in Paris?
I always wanted to be an artist and actress. As soon as I got my diploma at 17 years old, I moved to Paris. There was no artistic outlet where I lived and I felt like an alien. I wanted to move before I graduated but my parents wouldn't let me, because they were afraid to let their only child alone in another city.
What kind of dance training did you have?
I started training as a dancer at age 5, but really wanted to be an actress. I studied modern dance, classical, and jazz. I spent some of my summer holidays studying acting at the Cours Florent and Ecole Supérieure du Spectacle.
How did you get the job at the Lido and what was the audition process like?
When I arrived in Paris I went to Cours Florent for a full year. I also studied another year with the Studio of Alain de Bock and I did some modeling. I danced with some struggling small dance companies and then I met some Lido dancers. I told them it was my dream to be a Lido dancer and they eagerly encouraged me to audition. So I did and I got hired. That was six years ago. I saw the show at the Lido with my parents when I was teenager and I told them "One day, I’ll be on this stage". I did eight months of the old show and had to audition again to be in the new show and I was very nervous to audition again.
How many shows a week do you do?
I work six days a week, two shows a night at 9:30 and 11:30. Each show is an hour and forty-five minutes. We have to be at work earlier to make up and stretch and have to rehearse during the afternoon.
Can you share some backstage secrets?
The technical things are so magical. There are five levels to the stage and they are always moving. There are 70 performers and four levels of showgirls: Bluebell, nude, principal, and singer. Really fast, Pierre Rambert, our artistic director, gave me the opportunity to do the Principale and Singer replacement, and to be the Principale in the Christmas show. There's lot of jealousy, which makes for lots of girl fights. It's like a small town and we are all family. Lots of tension, love, and hate. Most of the girls are not French but English, German, Russian, and American. The girls do their own makeup and hair.
What do you do on your one-day off and your free time?
I take dance and acrobatic classes during the day. I also do casting and work on film projects. I like to see friends too but I lost a lot of my friends because I work at night. I also like to sleep, see museums and exhibitions and go out in St. Germain de Pres and the Marais.
What do you prefer about Paris?
I love the architecture. I like that Paris gave me the possibility to be an artist because it is so open-minded.
Checkout Aurore's model page and Myspace page.
Strike a pose!
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com