Viennese Waltz

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Viennese Waltz

Count: 3/4
Pace: 60 counts per minute
Genre: Standard tournament dance

History The origins of Viennese Waltz are dated between 12th and 14th century, as the dance comes from old folk dances from the region of South Germany. One of these dances is L?�ndler, danced in city squares and in front of the country inns.
In time, folk character of the dance changed and it was danced in the taverns and Vienna suburbs on the shores of Danube, where it was accompanied by occasionally performing music bands.

After the elite century, full of ceremonial minuet, the era of waltz begun. The beginning of the XIX century brought democratisation of the waltz, i.e. the same waltz was danced in the countryside inns and taverns as well as in the courts, posh coffees and restaurants, where it was constantly accompanied by music bands.

It is stated that, officially, Viennese waltz entered the courts in 1814-1815, during the Congress of Vienna, also known as the "Dancing Congress", during which, after the Napoleon Wars, a new order in Europe was formed and where most of the European nobles socialised. During the beginning, Viennese waltz caused many an outrage in courts, due to the closeness of the dancers. Many widely known persons and celebrities protested against its "indecency" and the dance was prohibited in the courts of Berlin as well as in England, where it was perceived as the "main source of the weakness of body and mind of our generation".
Great musicians and compositors of Vienna, such as Josef Lanner (1801 - 1843) and Johann Strauss the Elder (1804 - 1849), who had his own music band, had their hand in creating the grandeur of this dance. As his peers said, one could not dance to Strauss' music. Johann Strauss the Son (1825-1899) perfected the musical side of the Viennese waltz.

Johann Strauss' waltzes were danced not only during the grand balls for Viennese high society, but in courts of almost the whole of Europe, with the exception England, where it was not accepted for a long time. Today Vienna remains the capitol of Viennese waltzes, and a great number of festivals and galas where Viennese waltzes lead the way happen almost every year. Worldwide famous are new year's concerts of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with its Johann Strauss' waltzes, full of expression and bliss. Beautifully performed waltzes can be watched on popular TV shows such as: "So you think you can dance" or during the dance tournaments with its largest tournament - WDSF "World Dance Sport Federation" Grand Slam, where the waltz is danced as one of the obligatory standard dances.

Waltzes were composed by great composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Fryderyk Chopin, Johannes Brahms or Antonin Dvorak.

Dance posture:
the Waltz is danced in ž rhythm and the strong emphasis in the music is put on 1. The dance moves should be fluent, and the most difficult part of the Viennese waltz is achieving this particular effect.

Viennese waltz is danced flat (jumps are strictly forbidden). The effect of vertical movement (raising and falling) of the dancers is obtained through inclining the body, bending the knees and altering the length of steps.

During the annual Vienna Opera Ball and the dance tournaments, the waltz is danced in its classical version i.e. natural and reverse turns and change steps. In more popular version and during less official events, the Viennese waltz includes extra dance figures, so called American Style, fleckrels - on-the-spot turns, underarm turns or sways.

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