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          Richard Powers & Angela Amarillas

 of Stanford University's Dance Division

at Split Tree Farm's 


Old Vienna Ball &
Waltz Weekend

      "When the Waltz was Young"

Nov. 3-5

Friday night Richard Powers, using his own reconstructed figures, will prompt a unique contra dance to Mozart's lively contra music. The Saturday evening ball theme and period will be the two decades before or after 1800; informal peasant carnival ball attire is suggested.     In Saturday/Sunday classes, Powers, assisted by Angela Amarillas, will teach steps from the time when "waltz was young" at a pace and level all can learn and enjoy. 

 Aristocratic couples in formal attire are welcome, as they would have been at that time in Austria, and are invited to join the festivities at the "Landgasthaus zum Gespaltenen Baum" (Split Tree Country Inn) somewhere in the mountains around Vienna, Austria during the early 1800s.   Click here for modern satellite view of Vienna.

The waltzing fever, along with other social dances, reached all classes, judging from Pezzold's and others contemporary accounts of Mozart's time, when even Mozart the serious composer wrote waltzes and contras for the 1791 carnival ball at the Imperial Palace that are still a joy to dance today. Then, just after 1800, huge, festive dance halls were built in Vienna that all social groups enjoyed.   The world's most erotic and scandalous dance trend was well underway and would dominate the 19th century, spread across the oceans, and forever define the romantic tradition.  

About the weekend (by Richard Powers):
"By the end of the Baroque Era, dance had long been seen as a rule-based skill, a courtly display, to be executed correctly. But with the social revolutions which accompanied the French Revolution, a new concept developed: dancing for pleasure. For the first time in centuries, polite society adopted the idea of dance as an experience to be enjoyed, rather than a formal social exercise. And from the very beginning of this revolution, Vienna took the lead, with an ecstatic blossoming of music, ballrooms and dances.  The upper classes gave in to the new paradigm of social dance as pleasure on different timelines... first the Viennese, then the French, then the English, lastly the puritanical Americans (with other nations fitting into the timeline at different points), but eventually the new paradigm was generally accepted by most (not all) people in most (not all) countries."  

Program of dance and instruction (see detailed schedule below)

FRIDAY:    Mozart era Contretanz (newly written figures by R. Powers)
(preceded by Workshop for Beginning Waltzers at 7 pm)

SATURDAY Classes:  Wiener Walz from the 1820s, Eccosoise Walzer, Rutscher
,  Der Walzer, Balance Walzer, Cottillon and Quadrille, Rejdouva (the original Bohemian redowa), Rejdouvaczka, Der Masurische Walzer, Der Zephyr-Walzer

SATURDAY EVENINGOld Vienna Waltz Ball (circa 1800)

SUNDAY:  1800 Mazur Part I;  Mazur Part II; 1800 Polonaise; Free-style studio dancing

(double click on photos here and in O.V. album for larger image) 
Old Vienna Ball Waltz Weekend - MENU
(Link to Old Vienna waltz photo album--see Shari Feth and Sid Hetzler modeling a version of  "peasant" dress for Saturday evening ball)
Split Tree Waltz Page
Background on Johann Strauss Son and other Viennese Ball links
The Los Angeles Nov. 25th "Fledermaus Ball"
Link to O.V. flyer version for printing

Information and Registration

LOCATION:  Split Tree Farm is located 20 miles south of Chattanooga, TN and 100 miles NW of Atlanta in the NW Georgia mountains.   Click on map page for location and directions.

COST: $70 before Oct. 20 ; $85 after; credit refunds only after Oct. 20. 
Single dance tickets: Fri pm, $20; 1/2 day Sat/Sun, $15; Sat. Ball, $25.  Student discount with I.D. card:  15 per cent.

FOOD/ON-CAMPUS SHELTER (optional): $30 (weekend).  (single meals $10 each with advance registration; Sat dinner $15).

LODGING:   There are 14 single house beds for $10/night available by earliest registration date in the house.  There is heated house/studio floor space at no charge, shelter in a large barn--you need only your warm sleeping bag, air mattress, and pillow.   There is no charge for tent or RV camping (no hookups) on Split Tree's 200 acres of woods and pasture in the NW Georgia mountains.  Bring usual camping supplies: pillow, sleeping bag or bedding, air mattress, towel and soap, swimsuit for hot tub, etc. We have a few tents and sleeping bags to loan for a modest donation to our dance gypsy fund.  The Key West Inn 10 miles away in Lafayette, GA offers a special Split Tree rate; Hidden Hollow Cabins are four miles away and the closest to the farm.  See housing page for info on motels/BnBs and other nearby housing.

FOOD (Link to Chef's Menu Page):   For Friday night, bring your picnic or contribute a $3 donation to Split Tree's fresh bread and hot soup crockpot fund.  For $30, five tasty vegetarian Austrian-style meals will be served from the Split Tree kitchen by chefs Catherine and daughter Megan Hannah (of Charlotte, NC), Becky Forster, Ann Horgan and volunteers.  Several work exchange dancers are needed for food preparation, serving and clean-up; call the registration office at number below...or send email.  Note:  For possible special dietary needs, please email Chef Catherine Hannah at: Catherine.Hannah [@]

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS  Gender balanced by paired registration, indicate below lead/follow preference if any.  We accept single registrations but genders must be matched to confirm registration.  Must wear clean non-street, non-marking, soft-sole shoes for dancing.  Loose work-out type clothing for floor exercises recommended.  No child care facilities; children under 12 must be supervised.  No pets or alcohol allowed.  Avoid strong perfumes.  Smoking is discouraged and is not allowed near any building.  A waiver of liability and release from damages must be signed by each participant upon registration.

INFORMATION:  For registration/housing  information:  call Sid at 706/539-2485 or email him at ovball2000 [@]   Fax: 770/216-1596 .

Split Tree General Information      Maps, Directions     Accommodations     Chattanooga Weather

REGISTRATION:  Electronic or fax registration is allowed but this form must be mailed with a check within seven days after registering to hold a space.  Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 100 persons.  Send check payable to: Split Tree Farm/Old Vienna Ball, 597 West Cove Road, Kensington, GA 30707.
Credit card online payment is now available:  Split Tree Web Store

Dance Preference:  Lead _____  Follow ______    Female ____  Male _____
City________________________State_______Zip Code____________
Email address_______________________________________________
Day phone ________________________Evening phone______________________

#___dancers at $ 70 each = ____$_______      #____meal tickets at $30 each=$______
#___Single 1/2 day/Ball = ______________  Total _________
#____Single House Beds at $10/each     Total_____
Late registration charge  #____ [@] $15_____   Grand Total________
Shelter plans:   Barn space__________? (A mattress of wood shavings) House ________ Studio floor space __________   Pasture tenting?________    Motel/BnB_____________? RV/Other?_____________

Accommodations Link   See web accommodations link for local lodging and Split Tree Inn BnB rates for extra nights.

FLIGHT INFO:  Nearest public airport is Chattanooga (45 minutes); Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Knoxville airports are about 2-3 hours and usually some rides can be found with the help of dancers in nearby cities.  If you are renting a car, please let us know if you can share costs and give other dancers a ride up to the farm.

Questions about the dance program may be directed to Richard Powers at:    vintage [@]    Web link:


FRIDAY evening 

600 Potluck dinner
700 Registration & welcoming
700 Workshop for Beginning Waltzing
Mozart era Contretanz
(to recorded music with figures reconstructed and prompted by Richard Powers)
 11 Informal freestyle dancing, time permitting
11:30  Early bedtime

SATURDAY 9 am - 430 pm
800 Breakfast buffet
900 Warm ups
920 Wiener Walz from the 1820s
1030 break
1045 Eccosoise Walzer, Rutscher
1130 Der Walzer, Balance Walzer
1230 lunch
130 Cottillon and Quadrille
230 Rejdouva (the original Bohemian redowa), Rejdouvaczka
300 break
315 Der Masurische Walzer, Der Zephyr-Walzer
430 End of classes

600 Viennese Dinner, created by chefs Catherine Hannah and Becky Forster

900 Old Viennese Ball (circa 1800)
LaDanseVillageoise.jpg (75138 bytes)Though the actual era of the ball is the two decades of the increasingly popular social dance in Austria before and after 1800, Split Tree's Old Vienna Ball is an optional "costume ball" celebrating the origins of the waltz as a "folk" dance in its original forms, and suggested costume can be a wide variety of  informal European "peasant" or "folk" attire.  See photos above and on Old Vienna waltz page to get an idea of the Austrian folk style (more to come on this).  Be creative; this type of "low" Viennese ball has never been done in our time in this way before.  Costumes, as always, should be comfortable and are admired but not required and modern formal evening dress (black or white tie) is perfectly acceptable.  A Split Tree weekend credit certificate will be awarded to the most interesting male and female costumes.  A light buffet and Viennese desserts will be served after the Saturday evening ball.

SchrammelQuartet.jpg (57818 bytes)Recorded music for this special occasion (and the entire weekend) will be provided from Richard Powers' and Sid Hetzler's collection of historic dance music.  We expect this ball to continue in the late fall of each year at Split Tree and we are searching for musicians interested in learning the old waltz and traveling dance music and its unique manner of playing.  Musicians who wish to learn the dances in Richard's workshops in order to play at future balls will be guests of Split Tree.  Some time on Sunday afternoon will be set aside to discuss live music at future balls for those interested. (Photo:  the original Schrammel folk quartet, a favorite of Emperor Franz Joseph that continues in the present with violin, viola, bass guitar, and G clarinet--possibly augmented at times with a small brass instrument that can be seen on the table).

SUNDAY 930 am - 1 pm

800 Breakfast buffet
900 1800 Mazur part 1
1000 Mazur part 2
1115 break
1130 1800 Polonaise
100 Lunch buffet

Studio is open for free-style dancing Sunday afternoon

Serious porching and rest before driving home.  
We have some room for those wishing to come a few days early and remain for a few days. 
   See web accommodations link link for Split Tree Inn BnB rates for extra nights.

Sunday, Nov. 5th from 4-7 pm, a special waltz workshop in Atlanta, taught by Seattle waltz teachers Bejurin and Monica Cassady, will be offered by the Atlanta Waltz Society at Several Dancers Core studio in Decatur.  More info about this is available at  Cost:  $10 donation for AWS.  The Cassady's will be attending the weekend workshop. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  
Sat, Oct. 21st, "Swing in the Mountains," afternoon workshop and evening dance produced by Bart Ruark at Split Tree studio with Roger Bellows Band.
Web link:

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Link to version for printing


Email letter sent Oct. 29, 2000:
Dear Dance Friends and Especially Lovers of Waltz and Contra Dancing,
I want to be sure you know that Split Tree's 5th Richard Powers' Waltz Weekend Nov. 3-5 is very special for lovers of traditional social dancing.  The program highlights are below and details are on our web page at   But I want to call your attention to what I think makes this particular weekend unusually innovative and exciting, even a world premiere of this type of traditional dancing.
Few dancers whom I have talked with know that long before Strauss and Lanner began writing and playing waltzes in the 1820s, Mozart, who is reported to have said he loved dancing more than making music, and others wrote exciting dance music that led to the waltz mania and huge Viennese ballrooms of the early 1800s.  American and Continental visitors were amazed at the fanatical devotion of the Viennese from all classes to this whirling couples dance.  Even the Mozart family's Salzburg home in 1773 had a large room for dancing as well as concerts and rehearsals and the entire family loved dancing at home as well as at parties and carnival balls during the winter season.
As I read about the waltz's vague history and visited Vienna at Sylvester and carnival balls over the last few years, I became more and more interested in what I came to think of as a search for "the lost art of waltzing," such as the close style of embrace while dancing at warp speed that my Viennese partners insisted upon.   I invite you to join in this search for the origins of not only the controversial waltz but also contra as it was emerging in Vienna two hundred years ago from its English and French sources.  The Split Tree web page has more links to waltz pages and ball calendars and historical sources.
First, we are presenting next Friday night what is believed to be the first full evening of social dancing in America, and possibly anywhere, to the lively contra music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart since he first wrote wrote many of  these richly imagined contras, waltzes, and minuets for the carnival seasons in the Redoutensaal ballroom of the Austrian palace.  This is "the famous ballroom that still stands in Vienna, once the scene of carnival balls that were patronized by the Emperor and attended by people of all classes,"  according to Neal Zaslaw in "The Compleat Mozart." (1991)   Our Split Tree Mozart contra dances will be both reconstructed, taught, and prompted by Stanford dance historian and professor Richard Powers, who has no written contra figures to guide him in recreating those particular dances in Vienna.  But the music from our recordings will not sound strange nor sedate, since nothing Mozart wrote was boring. As Cornell Prof. Zaslow says of the late Mozart dance music:  "Here Mozart evolves within the set eight-measure periods a rich and subtle scoring of a kind not found anywhere else in his music.  Whoever would know Mozart, must hear this music."   So "hear this music,"  the best of the published recordings, and join us only for this historic evening if you cannot stay the entire weekend.  By next year we hope to offer you live acoustic Mozart music.
Second, this waltz weekend begins next Saturday night our new annual series of autumn Viennese Waltz and Contra Balls that started with the first formal ball at Split Tree in October 1997.  But this ball will not assume formal dress or dancing but rather invites dancers to choose informal, country dress as the Austrian peasants might have been seen wearing in their cozy inns around Vienna at this time "when the waltz was young."  But we will be happy to have our formally attired dance friends who might be lacking in humble peasant dress join the lively party for some really old-time country dancing.  For this weekend Richard has focused his meticulous research and attention on the origins of social dance in Vienna when the world was just waking to the power of the scandalous, erotic turning dance that would define the romantic nineteenth century.  The steps and the music too will be new to most of us who've studied with Powers at Cincinnati's Flying Cloud Academy, Stanford University, the European vintage dance weeks, and Split Tree and other waltz workshop weekends.  Who knows?  Maybe someday the waltz mania will return like the swing era has, although we have yet to find our Frankie Manning of original Lindy Hop fame and will have to  look to our imaginations in reinventing the forgotten era of the waltz mania.
This period of waltzing around 1800 is the origin of, as NYC dance historian Elizabeth Aldrich says in the notes for a newly discovered manuscript, "The Extraordinary Dance Book T B. 1826," "the biggest revolution in western European social dancing during the nineteenth century" and "it came about as a result of the rising popularity of a new form of couple dance, a turning dance performed by an embracing couple....The waltz was the first of these dances...and composers from Franz Schubert to the Strauss family of Vienna were captivated by its intoxicating, triple-meter rhythm.  By the end of the century, ballrooms were filled with whirling couples.  A dizzying array of diatribes for and against the waltz is available, critical of the constant spinning by couples who were wrapped together in a position that many felt was too intimate for the dance floor.  However, knowledge regarding the dance's original form and its evolution is less accessible." (p. 19).   So it is to the waltz's "original form and evolution" that Split Tree and Richard Powers direct their attention.
And the Old Vienna food will be special too.  Special recipes of Austrian dishes will be transformed by Chef Catherine Hannah, assisted by Becky Forster, into vegetarian magic.  With subtle Viennese desserts to die for.  Full menu for our dancers who watch what they eat is on the web page.   And Erin Brandt and the Gainesville gang are bringing a chocolate surprise.
We still have some spaces and will not close registration, although we strongly recommend you come with or pair with a partner as we are near equal gender balance now (and always can use a few single men).  Registration info is on the web page; you can pay by credit card or next Friday when you arrive if you reserve a space by email.  We have a few single beds left and plenty of house floor space, studio floor and several futons, barn space, and, as always, unlimited pasture for the romance of setting up camp in this fantasy world of Old Austria with your favorite peasant dance partner.
Happy dancing,
Sid Hetzler
Landgasthaus zum Gespaltenen Baum