The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography



Rigolboche (real name Marguerite Bedel, or possibly, Badel) was responsible for the development of the can-can dance, which she launched on the French public during the latter half of the 1850s. After the Bal du Prado closed in 1860, she danced at the Délassements-Comiques; she also frequented the Casino Cadet. By 1860, she was notorious enough to publish her memoirs.

Unlike her contemporary, Finette, Rigolboche survived in great style, built herself a mansion and died a wealthy matron in 1920.

She is seen here wearing her signature trademark, a preposterous blonde wig, and making the gesture that became her visual 'catchphrase.’

Photographed by A. A. E. Disdéri of Paris.

Rigolboche, can-can, can can, cancan, dancer, Second Empire, Marguerite Bedel, Marguerite Badel, Disdéri, Disderi


Code: 123534
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© Paul Frecker 2019