People rich and poor have danced since time immemorial and dancing gave them happiness, joy and laughter regardless of station in life. This initially concerned dancing in villages relating to folk customs and traditions. However, at the end of the 18th century and above all during the 19th century, these festivities transformed into balls and moved to larger cities. Luxurious balls of the aristocracy were held only in Prague and the first Czech ball was held in 1840.
The polka is a dance of Czech origin and a dance which is danced in our country and beyond our borders. Folk tales exist about its beginnings and origin. According to the music critic Zdeněk Nejedlý and others, the polka was probably created sometime after 1830 in the luxurious function rooms of the East Bohemian cities which had a very lively social life at that time, on the basis of inspiration from and using elements from older Czech folk dances from this region. After its creation, the dance quickly spread and in 1840, the polka was already routinely played in Vienna and continued to spread further. Czech composers of the polka include B. Smetana and J. Vejvoda.
The era of court dances held in all European countries as part of the fashion influence of French culture ended in the 18th century. At the same time, a copious number of new dances were created. The waltz first became popular in Vienna and in the 1790s, the waltz became a luxurious affair, a mania, a fashion, but also a craze. Those responsible for its fame, promotion and popularity included the composers J. N. Hummel, F. D. Weber, A. Vitásek, K. M. Weber and certainly Strauss. From among the Czech composers, we cannot fail to mention the contribution by F. Kmoch and A. Dvořák.
We classify the waltz and the polka as “spinning dances” which gained this classification due to the fact that you are constantly spinning around while dancing. This rotating movement is characteristic for them. The difference between these dances is clear. Whereas the polka can be described with the words gaiety, sprightliness, playfulness and optimism, in contrast to this, the waltz is serious, luxuriously elegant and noble.
Other standard dances include: the waltz – originally from England, the tango – originally from Uruguay and Argentina, the slow foxtrot – originally from Great Britain and the quickstep.
Are you planning to attend any of the balls abounding in all things luxurious, offering beautiful surroundings and wonderful music?
We have a few selected tips for you:
19.1.2017 – Austrian Ball (Prague, Žofín Palace)
21.1.2017 – “Ples jako Brno” Ball (Brno, Fait Gallery)
21.1.2017 – Czech TOP 100 Ball (Prague, Žofín Palace)
18.1.2017 – Hotel International Ball (Brno, Hotel International)
18.2.2017 – Czech-Slovak Ball (Prague, Municipal House)
18.2.2017 – Bratislava Ball 2017 (Bratislava, Reduta)
23.2.2017 – Opera Ball (Vienna, Vienna State Opera)
24.2.2017 – Bonbon Ball (Vienna, Wiener Konzerthaus)