Austria | EUNewsletter

The Land of waltz

Austria is a country of music and dramatic arts. This is the birthplace of Mozart and where Beethoven and Brahms composed their music. It was Johann Strauss, however, who turned Vienna into the capital of waltz.

The Viennese Ball has a history of over 120 years and it has not lost its appeal over time. Indeed, it has become a model for Opera Balls in cities around the world. Vienna hosts over 300 dance festivals a year, with the ball season beginning in February. For decades the Vienna Opera Ball (Wiener Opernball) has been the most anticipated ball in Austria and, indeed, all of Europe. For a single night, the Opera hall and its stage transform into an immense dance floor. Approximately 5,000 guests participate in the celebration, which boasts a selection of classical dances, elegance and etiquette.

The Ball has a strict dress code: ladies are required to wear long ball gowns and gentlemen must be in white tie and tails. The ball’s opening ceremony honours young couples between 17 and 24 years of age.

In this country, the ball is not merely about music and dancing, it is a social phenomenon, a way of living and, of course, a celebration, the atmosphere of which transports dancers back to the age of the Habsburg Monarchy.