Viennese Waltz Ride

Meet Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss Son in person! In the colourful Waltz Ride you will enjoy the lightness of ball life at the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15.  Be enchanted by the most famous works of the Austrian composers. Find out which composers founded Viennese Classicism and why Vienna became the capital of classical music in Europe until nowadays. Relax at Time Travel to the sounds of the Danube Waltz, the secret hymn of Austria.

Skyline Wien

Background information Viennese Waltz

The Viennese waltz was considered wicked in earlier times.  In September 2017, the Viennese waltz has been declared an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

The Viennese waltz has a long tradition and is an important part of the approximately 450 Viennese balls. He makes a long ball night really complete.

The Vienna Opera Ball is traditionally opened with a left-sided waltz. Turning in three-quarter time, left or right, is something typically "Viennese" and is nowhere as celebrated as in Vienna. Even at weddings and festive occasions it is common to start with a waltz.

The Viennese waltz is derived from the word rolling, which means turning and grinding. It was created in the last quarter of the 18th century in the Bavarian-Austrian area. It is a dance in three-four time for single couples and as a preform we can refer to the "Ländlerisches Dancing". (traditional folk Dance). The dance pair jumps and turns constantly.

It is a social and tournament dance in three quarter time, which is danced at a rate of 58-60 cycles per minute. In comparison, there is also the Slow Waltz (English Waltz). The Viennese waltz (formerly known as the French waltz) was first mentioned in early 1770s in Old Viennese folk comedies and became known even before the French Revolution. He supplanted the aristocratic minuet as relevant ballroom dance.

At first, the waltz was sometimes heavily criticized because it was considered immoral, too fast and too tight because of the movements. In particular, the left-sided waltz, was initially frowned upon for indecency in the Viennese high society, especially because of the intimate touch of the couple.

This also had to do with the fact that the ladies suddenly showed their ankles while dancing. The ladies were also laced quite tightly and some even fainted ue to the fast rotational movements.

In 1814/15 the Viennese waltz was often danced during the Congress of Vienna and turned into to a social event in Vienna.

After the Napoleonic wars, Europe was restored to its former structures and negotiations were held in Vienna. Besides of the negotiations a lot of waltzing events took place. Not for Nothing, the famous saying "The Congress dances, but it does not move on", arose.

During the Biedermeier period, Vienna definitely became the capital of waltz music in Europe. The Viennese waltz gained acceptance and popularity.

Johann Strauss, the elder founded the Strauss dynasty and composed mainly waltzes. However, he is better known for his march music, such as the well-known Radetzky March, a tribute to General Radetzky.

Joseph Lanner, together with Johann Strauss, the elder , is regarded as the founder of the Viennese waltz.

Later, the waltz is brought to its highest perfection by the Strauss sons Johann, Josef and Eduard. Through concert tours he is carried to America.

Johann Strauss, the younger  (1825-1899) went down in history as the "Waltz King". His tours took him to Russia and even to America.

His most famous work is the Danube Waltz, which was premiered in February 1867 in today's Dianabad.

The nine-minute original Version of the Danube waltz must not be missed in any New Year's Eve. In Vienna People dance traditionally to the sounds of the Danube waltz into the New Year 

The danube waltz is also on the program at the New Year's Concert and is considered the unofficial anthem of Austria.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the waltz was always in the center of Viennese operetta. The technique of the waltz has it's origin from the ballet technique. It has developed from the very fast rotary motion to today's rather floating dance form.

The classic Viennese waltz is still danced with left-sided rotation and is considered the "most Viennese" of all dances. The Viennese Waltz is danced as one of the five standard dances worldwide on standard tournaments.

He also occupies a special position on balls and masked balls. The waltz can definitely be described as a dance sport, because it is quite exhausting.

Since 2010, "Viennese Ball Culture" has been an intangible cultural heritage in Austria. The origin goes back to the monarchy, where a certain court etiquette was observed.

In addition to certain clothing regulations, these include the opening, the ladies' giveaway and the midnight surprise, as well as the ball finish.

This tradition has not only been preserved in Austria, but also decisively shaped the style of other balls in Europe.

Special balls in Vienna are for example, the "Zuckerbäckerball" (ball of the confectioners) , the "Philharmonic ball" or the "Kaffeesiederball" (ball of the traditional coffeemakers), just to name a few.

The ball season culminates with the Vienna Opera Ball, which traditionally takes place on the last thursday before Ash Wednesday. With the Opera Ball, the ball season in Vienna comes to an end, until the following year, when it will be announced again "Alles Walzer". This means "Everyone waltz" which are the traditional opening words at the Opera ball.

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