Vienna’s Third Gift to the World: Waltz

One can trace the origin of waltz to Vienna and it became fashionable during the late 1700s. Soon, the whole Europe and then world caught this dancing fever. Now the world knows many variations of waltz. And to distinguish it, the Viennese call theirs Viennese waltz or the Wiener Walzer. And I don’t know how many can actually dance it. You see I tried and what happened was I got dizzy all right?

Like every dance step/trend, waltz was considered earlier to be vulgar and crude by the society. If this story was true, a newspaper in London commented on its editorial, “We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last … it is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.”

The most famous of all waltz songs is “The Blue Danube” or An der schönen blauen Donau composed by Johann Strauss the Younger. You can always hear this one played from the yearly Neujahrskonzert and the Opernball, the highlight of the Austrian carnival season. Next year expect its return on your TV screens.

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