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“Alles Walzer” (everybody waltz) in our new online ballroom

February 12, 2021 Visit Europe No Comments

Eins, zwei, drei, eins, zwei, drei…today, all eyes would be on the Vienna State Opera where the high (and not so high) society of Austria, ordinary Viennese people and visitors from all over the world would shake a leg on the dance floor in three-quarter time at the prestigious “Opernball” (Opera Ball).

Austrian ball culture looks back upon more than 200 years of tradition. In “normal” years, around 450 balls with over half a million guests take place in Vienna alone, in such prestigious locations like the Imperial Palace and the Musikverein (home of the Vienna Philharmonic) to name but a few. Austria’s “fifth season” has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus, which is why the Austrian National Tourist Office decided to launch a virtual ballroom.

The website takes visitors on a musical journey around the world, with Waltzes by Johann Strauss (father and son) taking centre stage. Also featured: the Paris Waltz, the Egyptian March, the Éljen a Magyar! polka, the Chinese Galop and the Blue Danube Waltz, of course. The nine pieces were selected by music curator Andreas Vierziger and can also be found as a Spotify playlist. The website offers around 45 minutes of traditional Austrian ballroom music in total.

Background information on ball culture

Which are the most popular balls? How do you do the basic steps? What is there to know about the dress code? Background information and fun facts give a good overview and surprising insights. Would you have known that a third of the Confectioners’ Ball guests are 25 and younger? Or that 2,500 pairs of sausages are consumed annually at the Vienna Opera Ball?

Dance around the world from home

In addition, the Austrian National Tourist Office invites everyone to participate in a dance challenge. Music enthusiasts around the world are invited to post a video of themselves dancing to a Viennese waltz with their dance partner using the hashtags #alleswalzer and #waltzaroundtheworld. The videos will then feature on the website via a social wall.

“Our aim is to keep Austrian ball tradition fresh in Australian visitors’ minds and inspire them to visit our country during the next ball season when overseas travel is finally possible again”, says Astrid Gruchmann-Licht, Director of the Austrian National Tourist for Australia. “If our guests can’t visit any balls this year then we will bring the balls to their homes. We look forward to receiving plenty of videos in three-quarter time.”

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