Chapter 15 Curriculum Vitae

Fabienne volounteers to become a member of the DGES Drugs action group.

The Co-ordinition centre for this action group is L’Indienne, one of Paris premier strip tease night clubs.

She must however have an unpenetrable deep cover. She is asked to take part in a porno movie which would give her an impeccable CV. She is left to decide what conditions must be fulfilled to allow her to  deliver this requirement.

Fabienne has deep cover. she becomes a dancer at the crazy horse one of Paris premier Strip tease night clubs.

Alain Bernardin Owner of the Crazy horse commited suicide on thursday 15 september 1994

His club, which took off in the insouciant 1950s, became a haunt for champagne- sipping foreign businessmen seeking a harmless end to their evenings.

Mr Bernardin employed about 250 women in a strict no-contact-with-clients regime under which their weight and waistlines were regularly checked.

Between a fifth and a quarter of the women’s salaries were paid into blocked savings accounts for their time at the Crazy Horse to ensure that they had a nest egg for less lucrative days. Currently, a Crazy Horse dancer can expect to earn 20,000 francs ( pounds 2,300) a month.

When she started at the age of 18, Baby was thrilled to be naked on stage. ‘To show it, you have to like it,’ she says. But for the more prim, the body make-up, confined stage, dark auditorium and lighting shrouds help them feel unexposed. ‘It’s all set up so we are as much at ease as the public.’

A Crazy Horse dancer is put through a back-breaking rehearsal. Photo: Venetia Dearden

An irritation is those who mentally undress them when they learn of their work. ‘Just because we dance naked it does not mean that we are easy women,’ Fasty says sharply. ‘Very far from it. It’s a fantasy for people. It stays that way.’

These days, Crazy girls are not so insouciant and have their contracts checked by a lawyer, but their sacrifices are considerable. ‘The Crazy life comes before a private life,’ Fasty says. ‘As soon as we wake up, we come straight back here,’ Baby echoes, ‘and we have to look after ourselves, so we can’t party until 6am when there are three shows to do the next day.’ The work takes its toll on their bodies too.

‘I suffer physically,’ Baby says. ‘My nape, cervicals and lower spine ache, and my knees are starting to hurt, though I’m only 23.’ Fasty concurs: ‘We force our bodies into completely unnatural positions on 12cm heels, and even with half an hour of stretches and warm-ups, there’ll be a moment when it’s no longer possible. We all think of another life for afterwards. You have to. I’d like to run a business.’

Svetlana Konstantinova, the Crazy Horse’s Russian show manager, is a disciplined custodian of its mystique. ‘I have danced with many troupes, but this house is more serious than any other because it is so precise,’ she says. ‘I came to le Crazy at least 50 times before I worked here and tried to hold my body similarly, but it was only when I started working here that I understood how it was done. A lot of the techniques which accentuate certain parts of the body are kept secret. It’s impossible to change the style, as we know how to do it best. That’s why the Crazy Horse is a cultural monument – because it is a big secret.’

Even wardrobe mistress Amélie Escotte, a former Chanel employee, is enigmatic: ‘The G-strings are very specific. Without divulging too much, we have methods you never see elsewhere, for holding things together with nothing.’ The trademark wigs, which are cut to fit each dancer, involve ‘a whole stack of parameters’. What are they worth, I wonder. ‘I can’t say,’ Escotte replies firmly.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History