Draft of suggestions for potential Vienna Dance Trip Feb 24-17, 2007

Split Tree Vintage Waltz Wknd Nov 06 photos

  Split Tree Waltz Page  

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Viennese Ball.org by Nelson Bridwell

St. Louis' new flash dance idea:  Spontaneous Waltzing in Public Places

A Public Places Waltzing Story from the NY Times daily of metro experiences--
November 27, 2006
Metropolitan Diary

My husband and I had just come from a Saturday night contra dance at Metropolitan-Duane Hall on 13th Street in the West Village. Going down the stairs to get the F train home to Brooklyn, we heard vibrant violin music resonating from the platform.

Once there, we saw two beautiful young musicians carrying on a spirited musical flirtation, smiling and challenging each other with exciting riffs on their classical (Beethoven? Brahms?) duets. After carrying on like this for a while, they began to play a waltz.

We had noticed some other folks from our dance also waiting and suddenly, one group, a man and two women, grasped hands and began to waltz. Soon another couple, two men, followed suit. My husband turned to me, dropped his bags and raised his arms, inviting me to dance.

I hesitated momentarily — usually I’m shy about drawing attention to myself in public — but then I joined in. After all, who could resist waltzing on the Brooklyn-bound F platform while serenaded by two lovely, inspiring musicians on a Saturday night?

Lisa Master

Cities with regular waltzing:
Atlanta Waltz Society's Weekly Sunday Waltzing
Philadelphia's 4th Sunday waltzing program

Waltzing in Seattle  "Waltz etcetera, the Traveling Dance Company", Mondays
Glenn Echo, Washington, D.C., mostly Sundays
Palo Alto, CA: http://www.fridaynightwaltz.com
Stanford University, CA:  Email Richard Powers at vintage@stanford.edu for workshop schedule
Boston, MA --http://www.geocities.com/bostonwaltz
and Toronto, Canada:  http://odd-socks.org/
Lexington, KY: 

London, England:    Nelson Bridwell,  www.ViennsesBall.Org

 To: <viennatrip03@splittree.org>
Subject: http://www.splittree.org//waltztime.htm
I am putting together a new web site with information on Viennese Balls, including historical information. I will be posting a link to your waltz web page.   Also, I am organizing a Viennese Ball Rendezvous from London in January:
www.VienneseBall.Org/London   Please add my web site to your links.  Thank you in advance!
Nelson Bridwell


Waltz  Links:

NEW:  Draft of suggestions for potential Vienna Dance Trip Feb 24-17, 2007

Vienna Balls info from Austrian National Tourist Office page--with more links
Vienna Opera Ball (Opernball), current:  http://www.staatsoper.at/Content.Node2/home/opernball/7789.php
Folklore traditions of the winter months in Austria

You can find some other short articles about waltz history at:
http://www.centralhome.com/ballroomcountry/waltz.htm, http://www.bobjanuary.com/waltz.htm (that one has some waltzes to listen to),  and http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3waltz.htm.  (From Bejurin Cassady, Seattle Waltzetcetera)

If you want to look at some old dance manuals or instruction books, you can go to a Library of Congress site,
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html.  Learn to avoid the evils of the sinful waltz.
(Vienna Dance Cards and other useful waltz links)  http://www.drawrm.com/dance.htm
(Richard Walter's waltz page; articles; Viennese waltz balls)   http://www.paterson.k12.nj.us/~richwalt/strauss/  

Photo of old-style circa 1820s Viennese waltzers from 19C print on wall of Piaristenkeller in Vienna
About the Piaristenkeller Restaurant:
1.  Dine where Mozart dined, mentioned in a letter to his wife Constanze in 1791, the last year of his life.
2.  The unique, historic Restaurant Piaristenkeller, behind the Zipser Pension, a favorite of U.S. carnival season dancers

Stanford's April 1998 waltz weekend
Patterson, NJ, Feb. 98 Strauss Ball
The Year of Strauss 1999 100th Anniversary page

Learning On Your Own and from the major studios:
To attempt to learn waltz and related steps from written instructions in a traditional ballroom style, go to dancetv.com.  ("Welcome to the Ballroom Dance Group home page. If you have always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance but never knew where to start, this is the right place for you. You can start learning the Waltz, Fox Trot and Swing by looking at our Learn-Online sections, or you can browse through our Dance Tips section. Either way, you will be out on the floor and ballroom dancing in no time!")     

Another major dance studio is Dancesport, one of New York City's largest ballroom and Latin studios.

Split Tree Waltz Weekends Upcoming:
Richard Powers' Zen of Waltz, April 6.7.8, 2007

Split Tree Waltz Weekends (previous)
Waltz Bibliography page  Split Tree Collection; library references
Split Tree Vintage Waltz Wknd Nov 06 photos
Richard Powers' Waltz Weekend 10/98 at Split Tree Farm; related links
Richard Powers' Zen of Waltz Weekend at Split Tree, Apr. 30-May 2, 1999
Richard Powers' Old Vienna Ball at Split Tree, Nov. 3-5, 2000
Andy Estes' Halloween Waltz Weekend 1998 photo collection
Historical and related Nov. 3, 2000 Old Vienna Ball at Split Tree    photos
Richard Powers' Traveling Dances Weekend at Split Tree, Sept. 28-30, 2001

Waltz Writing Page (beginning with excerpts from Donald Daniel, Nov. 1999 and including text of NY Times articles from the past year on waltz and Vienna))

See new book,  Night Work: A Collection of Writings about Waltz, and order your copy.  Sample:  "I had to keep reminding myself that almost all great waltzes, from Viennese epics to Parisian musettes, and even those commercially-inspired pop waltzes from the first years of the Twentieth Century, were meant to be danced first and listened to as an afterthought. The composers set out to entice a connection between two people who had learned to twirl in tandem. Was it not Strauss who wrote, 'Connection is the opiate of the waltzer?'"

Join a Viennese Waltz Society--link to Popi and Stan Dunn's waltz page and the Sacramento Viennese Waltz Society
"It all started when we discovered there was a real interest in the Viennese Waltz. There are special events all over the United States where the Waltz and Polka are the main attractions. To mention just a few, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Boulder, and Las Vegas. The dress for most of them is White tie (or black tie optional). The ladies dress in beautiful evening gowns and many in 19th century style ball formals. Men in their tails or tuxedos create an atmosphere of old Europe, or even old Vienna. The live music by professionals tops off the event. How do we get the word out?
-Newsletter mailed out monthly    -Upcoming events listed on the web and in the newsletter     -Reports on happenings all over including news of special dance instruction in Viennese waltzes, polkas and the minuet.
This is your invitation to join the movement to establish a very exclusive Society. The objective is to promote and preserve the romance and magic of the Viennese waltz."--from the Dunn's page

            strauss1.gif (6495 bytes) --Angels waltzing on a grand piano from Strauss Museum Collection

  3/4 Time Space  
by Sid Hetzler and other waltzers

I believe our heart's rhythm is in 3/4 time:  rest, two, three; rest, two, three.  Put your hand on your heart and be very still and count the beats.   This is what I learned in 1993 at an Omega Institute week with Paul Winter, who led us into feeling and counting our heartbeats with hands over hearts.  Before that musical week I thought the heartbeat was in duple rock 'n roll time:   bump, bump; bump, bump....  Or maybe feel your heart beating as:  one, two, rest; one, two, rest.  A primary rhythm of life?  Who knows?  I like the first way with the empty space beginning. But who cares which way?  It's how you count it and dance it yourself that matters.  We're all different and I can dance it with a partner either way.  

This waltz page is dedicated to two people:

The first in sequence is maverick cellist David Darling of Music for People, who introduced me to the musician inside me and showed me a few years ago how to change from dancing and playing in 3/4 time to 4/4 time and back again without missing a beat; you just change the emphasis in simplest way.  It was David's music-making weekend workshop for "non-prodigies and late bloomers" in August 1988 at Omega Institute near Rhinebeck, NY that opened me to the possibilities of making music myself rather than just listening to others and led eventually to the idea of  sponsoring "participatory arts" as opposed to "performance arts" here at Split Tree.  Some of that process is reflected in my Emory dissertation and later book on festivals.

The second is Richard Powers, a pioneer in the international vintage dance movement, who taught vintage waltzing and much more at Cincinnati's Vintage Dance week in 1990 and who read his "Zen of Waltz" paper to us in about 1994 or 95 at the same week and inspired the idea of the zen of waltzing that started Split Tree's waltz weekends and  led to Richard's first "Zen of Waltz" weekend at Split Tree in April 30-May 2, 1999.  I was reading H. E. Jacobs social history of  Viennese waltz via the Strauss family at the time and the combination was a "road to Damascus" experience.  Richard's visionary idealism and practical, gentle teaching of partnering and dance steps have brought many to a world of dance that defined for multiple generations an active social life before the advent of movies and television and computers.  His interest and support has brought Split Tree to national attention.

This page was created to offer various brief materials about waltz history, waltz dances and events, links to other waltz related pages, and visual materials.  Please mail or email any material of interest to waltz@splittree.org.  See blow previously posted material, including our Vienna Carnival Balls trip in Feb. 1998, following Kim's notes on waltz history.   Our Emory University loan collection is posted (10/6/98) at our Waltz Bibliography page.
                                                                                                            Sid Hetzler  7/29/98

Thanks to Bart Ruark, Vortex Dance Weekend guru, for this excellent Viennese Waltz Ball and 19th Century historical dance link: http://www.paterson.k12.nj.us/~richwalt/strauss/    Among several fascinating waltz pages, you can link on this page to the Stanford Viennese Ball 1998/9; those who have danced at Split Tree's Oct. 97 Richard Powers' Spirit of Swing Weekend will note with pride that our energetic, long-distance registrar, Tara Rishko, is chairing the Stanford Viennese Ball, Feb. 27, 1999.  She also attended the Oct. 97 waltz weekend Powers waltz workshop and Viennese Ball and assisted Karen, Monica and Ryan in decorating the pavilion.  She will be attending the 1998 Halloween Waltz Weekend to research our waltz materials for Stanford's Viennese Ball and Austrian Week in late February 1999.  See Tara's high stepping hip-hop on the old STF swing page. We wish her and her committee much success with the Stanford Viennese Ball and were honored to be asked to send some of our research materials for the Ball's Austrian Week.

Opus No. 3/4 on the Origins and Early History of the Waltz          July 1998
by Kim Mallet, PhD, Atlanta, GA

[Note:  Kim Mallet, a dance friend in Atlanta, high school German teacher, and participant in two of  Richard Powers' waltz weekends at Split Tree, agreed to spend two days in July making a start on summarizing several of the books at Emory University's library on the origins and history of the waltz.  This is the first draft of her research; sources will be added soon.  Sid Hetzler]

Photo of old-style circa 1820s Viennese waltzers from 19C print on wall of Piaristenkellar in Vienna

Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart’s 1806 reference to the waltz as "a scandalous dance" in his Ideas about the Aesthetics of Composition (Wechsberg, p. 50), reflected a long-standing scepticism over the propriety of the turning dance. A Viennese ordinance of 1572 warned: "Ladies and maidens are to compose themselves with chastity and modesty and the male persons are to refrain from whirling and other such frivolities. Whichever man or fellow, woman or maiden will turn immodestly in defiance of this prohibition and warning of the city fathers will be brought to jail...." (Gartenberg, p. 34). A Dresden wedding ordinance of 1595 advised similar decorum: "Several honor dances are to be held, chaste, and without voluptuous turning, jumping, or running hither and yon. The ladies and maidens are to be led to and from the dance by the arm and without holding hands." (Gartenberg, p. 34).

Such prohibitions proved futile, however, against the growing popularity of energetic dances — The playwright Adolph Bäuerle described the popularity of the Langaus, a two-step forerunner of the waltz:

The Mondschein Hall made an immortal name for itself by the mortality of the young people dancing nothing but the langaus. It was the fashion to be a daring dancer. The man had to waltz his partner from one end of the hall to the other with the greatest possible speed... The circle had to be made six to eight times at a breathless pace with no pause. Each couple tried to outdo the others, and it was no rare thing for an apoplexy of the lungs to end the madness. Such frightful intermezzi finally caused the police to forbid the langaus. (Wechsberg, p. 51)

Other writers of the nineteenth century were equally uncomplimentary of the waltz. In his poem The Waltz: an Apostrophic Hymn, Lord Byron refers to the "lewd grasp and lawless contact" and remarks that "cockneys practise what they can’t pronounce." (Wechsberg, p. 50). The dance form had at least one official proponent. The English dancing master Thomas Wilson described the waltz in his 1816 A Description of the Correct Method of Waltzing as "a promoter of vigorous health and productive of an hilarity of spirits...certainly not an enemy of true morals." (Wechsberg, p. 50).

The waltz has its antecedents in the Round Dances of the Middle Ages, the Carmagnole of the French Revolution, the German Dances, and its immediate parent, the Ländler (Pastene, p. 7). According to Egon Gartenberg, the Linzer Fiddlers, traveling musicians who performed along the Danube, brought the rollicking dance, the Langhaus, to Vienna in 1725 (p. 3). Gartenberg also recounts a minor scandal at Schönbrunn, the Habsburg palace on the outskirts of Vienna, when the Austrian empress in 1775 requested that the court musicians play a Ländler, a folk dance far beneath the dignity of the Imperial Court of the eighteenth century (p. 4). Around 1750, a new dance called the Walzer and danced by single couples became popular among the peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol, and Styria (Wechsberg, p. 49). Aristocrats, bored with the sedate minuet, began slipping away to the balls of their servants, where couples whirled in each other’s arms to 3/4 time (Wechsberg, p. 49). By 1810, however, the waltz had gained sufficient acceptance among the nobility that Napoleon deemed it necessary to learn the Viennese waltz in order to impress his young fiancé, Marie Louise, daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz (Gartenberg, p. 20).

In 1787, Mozart described the citizens of Prague "flying about with such delight to the music of my Figaro, transformed into waltzes and quadrilles" (Pastene, p. 7). The Irish singer and friend of Mozart Michael Kelly recounted less enthusiastically the Viennese enthusiasm for the waltz. In his Reminiscences (1826), he comments on life in Vienna in 1776:

...The people were dancing mad...The ladies of Vienna are particularly celebrated for their grace and movements of waltzing of which they never tire...I thought waltzing from ten at night until seven in the morning a continual whirligig, most tiresome to the eye and ear — to say nothing of worse consequences...(Wechsberg, p. 50).

As a musical form, the waltz increased in popularity. In 1786, the opera Una Cosa Rara by the Spanish composer Vincente Martin y Soler was performed to great applause in Vienna. The innovation in this work, which in its day rivaled Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, was the insertion of a waltz interlude; the word "Walzer" from the German meaning to roll or turn had its first mention here (Gartenberg, p. 35). Mozart himself alludes to Martin’s opera in Don Giovanni, when a few bars from Una Cosa Rara are played during the supper scene with Leporello commenting approvingly (Wechsberg, p. 50).

Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert all composed early waltzes. Schubert’s slow Ländler pieces echo Biedermeier Vienna. Schubert was among the first to use the basic form: two parts, each part with an eight- or sixteen-bar phrase, repeated, with the first part ending the section; he often achieved strong contrast between a lyrical first and a rhythmical second part, an example followed by most waltz composers (Wechsberg, p. 51). Invitation to the Dance, composed in 1819 by Karl Maria von Weber, can be regarded as the first true concert-and-dance waltz (Pastene, p. 8).

Vienna’s "Tanzpaläste" of the nineteenth century (and these truly palatial establishments were often far more than dance halls) served as a gathering place for many levels of society. Probably the most famous of these was "Zum Sperl", the creation of entrepreneur Johann Georg Scherzer, located in the suburb Leopoldstadt, across the Ferdinandsbrücke and in the vicinity of the Leopoldstädter Theater. "Zum Sperl" was opened in 1806, and it had achieved the reputation as Vienna’s most elegant place of entertainment by the time the Congress of Vienna was held in 1815. Two levels were decorated with mirrors hung between arrangements of palm trees. The lower floor opened onto the extensive garden, and in the dining rooms guests could enjoy the renowned "Sperl" baked chicken and Fasching’s pastries. Scherzer insisted on propriety in his establishment: while dancing the "Ländler", gentlemen were prohibited from embracing their partners (Prawy, p. 64). Although the prestige of the "Sperl" declined after the Revolution of 1848, its proprietors managed to keep it in operation for almost seventy years. A school stands today on the site of the former dance palace, but the street name "Sperlgasse" is preserved (Prawy, p. 87, 97).

The Apollo, the major competitor of the "Sperl", was opened on January 10, 1808, on the occasion of the engagement of Emperor Franz and Princess Ludovica. The Apollo, located in what today is the Zieglergasse, boasted a series of ornate halls, thirty-six of which bore names ranging from the "Turkish Pavilion" to the "Lappland cottage" (Prawy, p. 97). This establishment was the brainchild of Sigmund Wolffsohn of London, whose secondary interests included the production of artificial limbs for injured soldiers and the invention of a "health bed" fabricated from inflatable reindeer skins. The Apollo catered to Vienna’s more affluent clientele; guests could be seen using hundred-guilder bills as cigarette lighters and the chandelier in the dining hall was illuminated by 5000 wax candles. Extravagance took its toll, however. In 1812, the Apollo went bankrupt and in 1839 the building was converted to a candle factory (Prawy, p. 98).

Located near the Karlskirche, the Mondschein served as a dance hall as early as 1772. Early waltz orgies here were prohibited by the police. The location later became a piano factory (Prawy, p. 99).

The commercial combination of dance hall with swimming pool was a phenomenon of nineteenth century Vienna. The Dianabad, located in the Oberen Donaustraße on the Donaukanal, was opened in 1842. The proprietors hoped to entice the Viennese to use the imposing covered swimming facilities there year round. Swimming during the winter, however, never gained much popularity, and the pool was eventually covered during the colder months and served as a dance floor. In February of 1867, a production of the Viennese Men’s Choir in the Dianabad premiered the Johann Strauß waltz "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" (Prawy, p. 102).

A few of the Viennese Tanzpaläste have survived. The Sophienbad, which was opened in 1838 as a combination ballroom and sauna, is still used for dancing during the Fasching season. It is located in the Marxergasse. Kasino Zögernitz in the Döblinger Hauptstraße, which opened in 1837, remains. The site of the "Elysium" can be visited today by descending two floors below the current dance hall "Tenne" at Annagasse 3. The "Elysium" in its day was composed of a series of luxurious underground rooms, including small stages, exotic restaurants, a train ride, and the recreation of a harem. In the Volksgarten, one can still admire the circular, columned cafe which was the site of the Cortische Kaffeehaus, founded in 1820 by Pietro Corti (Prawy, p. 103).


6/13/99 Note:  Several people have asked if a Vienna Carnival Ball trip will be offered in the winter of 2000 and at this time we are inclined to attempt to do so if there is enough interest.   Please email us at waltz@splittree.org if you are interested in going (who knows what airline rates will be?).   The Vienna ball calendar comes out November; see link above to Vienna Waltz Balls.  Also let us know if you can volunteer to publicize and assist with registration and other matters.  Note that we do not recommend the high commercial Bon Bon ball mentioned below; the other two are well worth attending;anything in the Hofburg Palace will have a high percentage of waltzing.  Sid Hetzler

(Old) Split Tree's Carnival Ball Weekend in Vienna, Austria, Feb. 18-22, 1998--European airfares are on sale (special fares end Jan. 22), and we have made tentative hotel and ball reservations in the heart of Old Vienna for dancers who can fly from Atlanta (or elsewhere) to Vienna to attend three of the better carnival season balls (out of 350 annually) in historic ballrooms.  Call or email Sid Hetzler right away if you are interested in this trip.  Tel:  706/539-2485.  Email:  splittree.org

Dance most of the night; sleep most of the day.  And you only miss two days of work with this new Atlanta departure on Delta.  We can take a direct, 8-hour Atlanta-Vienna flight on Delta Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and arrive 8:30 a.m.; a direct flight departs Vienna Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and returns to Atlanta that afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with ample (and needed) time for resting Sunday night.  Flight rates at this time are very reasonable if booked early; Delta's Atlanta-Vienna RT fare is about $523 with a Sunday return or $20 less with a weekday return.   You can call our travel agent, Paul, in Chattanooga at 888/877-2288 or call Delta direct; seats are in amply supply at this time.  Ball tickets are modestly priced.  We hope to round up about 10-20 dancers, preferably gender balanced but not required of course.  This is not a group rate because the sale fares are lower than group.  Sid Hetzler made tentative arrangements for this weekend during his visit to Vienna between Christmas and NY's for this trip and other possible waltz events in the U.S.    See web page:  www.splittree.org

Recommended Balls:  (Note--we are getting other recommendations but these are the current suggestions).

 The "Gschnas" masked ball is at the Wiener Kursalon in Stadtpark (near the golden Strauss statue)  Thursday, Feb. 19.  On Friday is the "Bon Bon" confectioner's ball (tux or dark suit) at the Wiener Konzerthaus.  Saturday night is the more formal Juristen-Ball (lawyer's ball) at the Hofburg Palace (where Sid Hetzler attended his second Kaiserball this past NY's Eve and finally learned real Viennese waltzing with a Swiss lady).  White tie formal is not required but optional. Numerous other balls are available on this weekend, which also is when the world famous  (but crowded and expensive) Vienna Opera Ball is held on the traditional Thursday night in the opera house.  These three balls were recommended highly for music, dance floors, ambience, and variety by Regina Macho, director of the Kaiserball.  Photos of the Kaiserball will be published on the Split Tree "waltz" page during this coming week.  Estimated total weekend cost from Atlanta for a downtown location is $750/per person/double room occupancy at the Hotel Pension Zipser, where the American vintage dance groups stay.  Breakfast is included. Single rooms would be higher.  You could extend your trip to other balls and even get in some day-trip skiing a short train ride away at Semmering.

For currency conversion, ratio is about $1.21 to 10ATS (shillings). Simplest way is to take off the last ATS zero and multiply by .80 for approximate U.S. $ equivalent. (needs updating; as of Nov 26, 2006, the dollar is worth less then the Euro; probably multiply by 1.15).

Hotel-Pension Zipser (special single and group rates  for dancers good through Jan. 31, 1998)
A. 10-20 persons
Bed/breakfast per person in doubleroom per night: ATS 320  (Approx. $26 U.S.)
Bed/breakfast in single room per night:  ATS 550 (Approx. $44 U.S.)

B. 1-10 persons
Bed/breakfast per person in double room per night: ATS 380  (approx. $31 U.S.)
Bed/breakfast per person in single room per night:  ATS 600 (approx. $48 U.S.)

For further information about Strauss and other dancing in Vienna, start with the Strauss page.  If you do your own web search, send us useful links.  A tour of the Strauss museum is a recommended option and we hope to have late afternoon workshops in Viennese waltzing, lander, and maybe langaus.  The Zipser is within walking distance to all three balls and is located near a wide range of restaurants and coffee cafes.  It is two blocks from the Rathaus, or city hall.

Austria Today Article, Jan. 1998

Ball Season Opens
Waltz in to Discover the Centuries-Old Tradition of the Austrian Ball Atmosphere
Ball Season is now upon us. Where else but in Austria would this statement be not only true, but spark excitement as well?
For centuries, Balls have been a significant part of Austrian society, and the tradition is very much alive today. Each year, between New Year’s Eve and Shrove Tuesday, more than three hundred Balls are scheduled in the capital city alone.
The international community may find these formal waltz and polka events quite a foreign concept, but they are not to be missed if one wants to experience true Austrian culture non-tourist-style.
Before attending your first Austrian Ball, there are a few important things to consider. First, there is the dancing. Dr. Thomas Elmayer, of the elite Elmayer Dance School in Vienna suggests any ball at the Hofburg is excellent for one’s first Ball. The main dance floor is quite spacious, and there are additional rooms with various types of music to choose from. While Balls at the Opera House and Music Verein are also spectacular atmospheres but the dancing space is much more limited.
The next major element is attire. Women should consider purchasing or renting a long ball gown. Short dresses are only accepted at a handful of Balls, mostly those for the younger crowd such as a University Ball. It is best to ask about attire when you purchase tickets, to avoid the potential risk of being asked to leave. Men are expected to wear a tuxedo, although tails are not required. A black suit is also acceptable, and white bow tie is an asset. There are also a couple of theme Balls where the attire is a bit different. At the Hunter’s Ball, men should wear a traditional Austrian “Hunter’s Suit” and women should wear a dirndl. At Masquerade Balls(Gschnas) most people carry a mask. The Rudolfina Redoute at the Imperial Palace is the most popular Masquerade Ball. A Ball with an international theme is the Coffee-House Ball, which is devoted to a different country each year. This year the theme will honor Portugal.
The third major considerations is cost. Tickets can range between 300-1500 ATS. There is an extra cost between 100-600 ATS to reserve a seat at a table. Seat reservation is important to consider. For example the Hofburg has a capacity for 3,200 guests, but only half as many seats. Food and drinks are almost never included with the ticket.
While Balls are a good place to be among hundreds of prominent Austrians, they are not places to network with them socially or professionally. Business people hoping to make important connections will be disappointed.
Most people go in groups and spend the evening socializing with their own circle. Singles looking for a range of dance partners should try the Masquerade Balls, where people seem to be more bold in choosing dance partners.
For specific Ball dates and locations, pick up a copy of the official Ball Calendar at the Vienna Tourist Information Office, Kärntner Strasse 38, 1st dist. Vienna.

As an example of an American waltz ball, we suggest a Centennial Strauss Waltz Ball Oct. 16, 1999, produced by the PEERS group in San Francisco:

"The Period Events & Entertainments Re-Creation Society, Inc., is a Nonprofit Corporation dedicated to remembering, researching, and re-creating the performing arts of the past.  Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we endeavor to accomplish our noble goals by sponsoring events, giving classes, performing in various living history events, and just generally carrying on. Historic dance, drama, music, literature and costume are all a part of PEERS' activities.

More than anything else, we are dedicated to the idea of entertainment
as something for people to do rather than watch." [Split Tree emphasis].

or A Ball at Mayerling

Saturday, October 16, 1999
Masonic Lodge of San Mateo
Doors Open: 7:00 pm
Quadrille Lesson: 7:30 pm
Advance tickets: $15.00 (before October 9)
At the Door: $20.00

In honor of the Centennial of the death of Johann Strauss, Jr., PEERS presents a Mostly Strauss ball hosted by His Imperial Highness Prince Rudolph at his hunting lodge at Mayerling. The focus of the evening will be on waltzes, and the Divertimento Dance Orchestra will play a selection of the most beautiful waltzes of the Strauss family. For variety, the band will also play Strauss polkas, mazurkas, schottisches, galops, quadrilles and other popular 19th century dances (All set dances will be taught or called). Also on the program are The Congress of Vienna Waltz and a dashing Austro-Hungarian version of Sir Roger de Coverley by Johannes Brahms. (There will be a pre-ball workshop on Sunday, October 10, from 1:00 to 4:00, covering the mid and late 19th century rotary waltz, mazurka, the Bohemian National Polka, the Fledermaus Quadrille, and Lancers.)

Though the actual year of the ball is 1888, the event is a "costume ball" tribute to the career of Johann Strauss, Jr., and suggested costume is evening or ball dress from any year of his professional career (1844-1899). Costumes, as always, are admired but not required and modern evening dress (black or white tie) is perfectly acceptable.

A light buffet and Viennese desserts will be served (Potluck contributions to His Imperial Highness’ bachelor establishment kitchen are very welcome!).

Advance tickets may be ordered by sending a check or money order to:

2144-B Buena Vista Ave.
Alameda CA 94501

Outtakes, disregard please:

NEW:  Waltz Time Worldwide  is a society of and for waltzers that is being formed to promote waltzing around the world, encourage more waltz groups, support historical waltz research, and present dances for the enjoyment of waltz lovers everywhere.  We first talked with a small group about this at Richard Powers' superb Stanford Waltz Week in July 2002 and more information will follow.  Volunteers are needed to create the energy for this undertaking.
          Email sidhetzler@waltztime.org (or sid@splittree.org if the Waltz Time address doesn't work yet) with questions, suggestions, comments, waltz events, links, publications.   The web page, http://www.waltztime.org, temporarily is linked to this Split Tree waltz page.  
Sid Hetzler, Sept. 4, 2002

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