How Long Has The Waltz Been Danced?
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The waltz evolved from a German dance form known as Lander and became famous in Vienna, Austria, in 1776 when it was first danced in the opera Una Cosa Rara. This waltz soon became the most popular ballroom dance, sweeping through Vienna and spreading across Europe during the nineteenth century. Both Johann Strauss Sr. (1804–1849) and Johann Strauss Jr. (1825–99) used their prolific talents as composers to popularize the waltz. The younger Strauss composed "The Blue Danube," which is undoubtedly the world's most famous waltz. It was first performed by Strauss on February 15, 1867, in Vienna. The lyrics came from a poem by Karl Beck and were sung by the Viennese Male Singing Society. The waltz became an instant sensation after this performance. According to Austrian tradition, after playing the first strain of "The Blue Danube" the orchestra pauses, the audience applauds, and then the orchestra plays the rest of the piece. The waltz eventually made its way to the United States in the latter part of the nineteenth century after it had reached England.
Further Information: Ballroom Dancers: Waltz. [Online] Available http://www.ballroomdancers.com/Dances/Waltz/, October 23, 2000.
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