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History of the Waltz

Uploaded by jimih4evr on Oct 31, 2011

The word “Waltz” originates from the German word, “walzen,” which means to roll, turn or to glide (Waltz, par. 2). Indeed, the waltz’s beauty lies in its motion, as partners glide across the floor in time with the music, flowing with an ease that is not only attractive, but powerful. It is an elegant dance that evolved a quicker pace when the Viennese Waltz became popular in the 1830s – a dance which still continues today. Both the Modern Waltz and the Viennese Waltz can be studied and found being performed in ballrooms across the world. In this paper, I shall first discuss the history of the waltz, including the emergence of the Viennese version. This version will demand the majority of the paper, as I will address the various aspects associated with the Viennese, including economic, social and political circumstances involved from the years 1890-1925. I will also discuss the visual art and music of the Strauss-Waltz – another term for the Viennese. And lastly, I will briefly speak about the waltz of today.
Introducing the Waltz
The first official waltz antedates to the seventeenth-century, when the Hapsburg court in Austria could be found gliding across ballrooms. The national pride of the dance can be found in the fact that a precursor, the weller, was performed by the peasantry of Austria and Bavaria long before the seventeenth-century (Waltz, par. 3). It has been a part of Austria’s social climate for quite some time, uniting communities and providing individuals with a joyous outlet, despite circumstance.
By the eighteenth-century, the dance that had brought Austrian peasants so much joy and diversion was making its way through society. Three-quarter rhythm had found a home and would soon spread throughout the world, inspiring millions to learn the fabled dance. It should be noted that the dance was originally performed as part of a group, but eventually evolved into the independent, partner dance that we know and enjoy today (Waltz, par. 4).
Socially, the waltz marked a significant change in perspective, dividing one generation from the other. Critics of the dance included dance masters, who were concerned that the waltz would infringe on their profession since it could be learned quite easily. The interest in it would take away from the other courtly dances, which were far more difficult, requiring further...

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Uploaded by:   jimih4evr

Date:   10/31/2011

Category:   Social Sciences

Length:   13 pages (2,882 words)

Views:   3662

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