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Viennese Types: The ­Romance and Reality of Work

Viennese Types: The ­Romance and Reality of Work

Copper engravings came first, depicting early street professions, the stuff of both legend and stereotype – canvas merchants, cheese makers, milk and egg sellers, tobacco peddlers, saucy laundresses that still titillate the imagination. Many are pictured with mouths agape, mid-call. Street criers were a common sight in any city of the pre-industrial age, and even […]

Wäschermädelball: From Laundress to Princess

Wäschermädelball: From Laundress to Princess

Amiss from ball season for decades, the Wiener Wäschermädelball (Viennese Laundresses Ball) will take place on 16 February in the Etablissement Gschwandner in the 17th District. In the 19th and 20th century, Laundresses’ Balls were well-attended public events on the outskirts of Vienna. The audience consisted mainly young laundresses and destitute men, but disappeared along with […]

A question of etiquette

Ball Season in Austria only heightens the level of good manners and etiquette. Emerging from the U2 at Volkstheater, the recent heavy snowfall left me disoriented. It was the final frigid Friday night in January, and I needed to find the Palais Auersperg quickly. I was supposed to be videotaping the 69th Alt-Kalksburger Ball, and […]

Having a Ball, or Fourteen

Having a Ball, or Fourteen

With ball season on the heels – and nearly stepping on the toes – of the holiday season, now is the time to dust off the tuxedos, groom the gowns, and book your spot on the parquet for the Walzer. For more on specific events, see The Vienna Review’s past coverage of Viennese Balls here. […]

Dancing With the Chimney Sweeps

Dancing With the Chimney Sweeps

As the day of the Ball der Wiener Rauchfangkehrer approached, I wasn’t all that up for it. Vienna is the City of Balls and, of the 150 soirées to choose from, a reception for the Association of Chimney Sweeps at the Austria Trend Park Hotel Schönbrunn didn’t quite seem the apotheosis. I wanted to feast […]

Austria’s Nazi Frat Boys?

Austria’s Nazi Frat Boys?

It was 27 Jan. – the day that people across the West commemorated the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. This year, it was also the day that the Wiener Korporationsring (WKR), an association of German-nationalist student fraternities, held its annual ball at the Hofburg, Austria’s historical seat of power. The coincidence, the organisers claimed, […]

Burschenschafter Ball: With the Demonstrators

Burschenschafter Ball: With the Demonstrators

On 27 Jan. around 5:00 in the afternoon at Christian-Broda-Platz next to Westbahnhof, only a few hundred had gathered for one of three demonstrations against WKR ball approved by the Vienna police – one more starting at the University of Vienna and marching towards Heldenplatz on the Ringstraße, the main one taking Place on Heldenplatz […]

The Balance of a Ball Night: Scandals, Lawsuits, and Violence

“Dancing on the graves of Auschwitz” is how Green Party head Eva Glawischnig referred to the WKR ball on 27 Jan., during a memorial ceremony on Heldenplatz. The nationalist fraternity ball coincided with International Holocaust Day, commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, and was hence seen as a provocation by critics. The organisers countered […]

Brace Yourself, It’s Ball Season

Brace Yourself, It’s Ball Season

Young girls in flowing gowns on the U-Bahn, men in tails strolling along the sidewalk, and the sound of waltzes in the air: It’s ball season in Vienna. Prepping for a ball isn’t just dolling up for any Saturday evening. First you need tickets, then dancing lessons, then a gown, tuxedo or tails, shoes with […]

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