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…If You Ain’t Got that Swing

…If You Ain’t Got that Swing

They rolled in on vintage Vespas and Schwinn bicycles, and took Polaroid pictures while pushing thick-rim prescription shades back on the bridge of their noses. Had I been teleported back a few decades, or was I witnessing a flash-mob?  Duke Ellington, pure and un-remixed, was spinning on vinyl. Through the yellowish tint of my Spritzer, […]

Ride the Pony

Ride the Pony

You’re at a club. Over the din you hear the first riff of that tune from way back when, that cheesy, heavy-rotation song from your teens. But hearing it now makes your heart beat faster. You just can’t keep your feet still… Sound familiar? The DJs at Pony Club understand. Meet Katarina Cherabon, a freelance […]

The Dance of Diversity

The Dance of Diversity

The subway doors opened at Landstraße as passengers stepped out, and headed up the dusty stairwell toward Maxergasse. Construction at the Wien Mitte U-Bahn station had been going on for a decade, and jackhammers still echo off thick concrete walls. On this hot day in late May, they were swallowed up by the energetic drumming […]

ImPulsTanz: Where the Dance Is

ImPulsTanz: Where the Dance Is

Just when you think it’s too hot to move, Vienna’s cultural scene is hit with a summer dance festival called ImPulsTanz, bringing the contemporary dance world to the city for a little over a month. Now in its 25th year, ImPulsTanz continues to go through maturity pains: Should it show the way or just reflect […]

Vienna is Not Paris

Rarely has the stage of the Staatsoper appeared so impressive. The curtain opens to reveal dozens of dancers on three levels, the women in gleaming white tutus, the men in black leggings and handsome white shirts. But first impressions are often misleading. So it is with Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc. The audience collectively takes […]

A Tale of Two Giselles

Audiences love Giselle. Even after 150 years, the legendary ballet is, along with Swan Lake, one of the two obligatory repertoire pieces for every classical ballet company and ballerinas judge themselves on their performance in the title role. With La Sylphide, Giselle is also one of the world’s greatest romantic ballets. But it endures not […]

A Silent Revolution

The Jodok Fink Platz is an unlikely place to start a revolution. At the heart of the conservative 8th District, the square bears the name of an interwar politician renowned for his compromise-building. Most people, however, know the cobbled concourse simply as the home of the Piaristenkirche and its attached school, a touchstone for a […]

A Lord of the Dance

In his latest dance confection for Vienna, Staatsoper ballet director Manuel Legris has brought us three hitherto never-danced-in-Vienna pieces from master showman Jerome Robbins (née Rabinowitz). Robbins was a polymath of dance, with the most eclectic collection of awards of any of the great choreographers, from an Oscar for film direction (West Side Story) to […]

Schritte und Spuren

January has been another flurry of activity within the Staatsoper ballet. The dancers are both euphoric and exhausted from this season’s eight premieres. The main event in January was a mixed evening of modern works called Schritte und Spuren (Steps and Traces), including works from four contemporary choreographers who came to Vienna to prepare their […]

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