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Prague’s Austrian Ball: Waltz back in time amid 19th-century splendor

Step back in time and experience the traditions of a Viennese style formal dress ball at Žofín Palace.

Fall and winter in Czechia are marked by gala balls, a chance to dress up in formal wear, eat fine food, and dance.

After some difficult years, people are again able to enjoy festive events in the way that they are used to. While the ball season has many big events in Prague, just one stands at the pinnacle. The 21st edition of the Austrian ball in Žofín Palace on Slovanský ostrov will be held on Jan. 20, 2023.

The event, which preserves original Viennese Ball traditions that are seldom seen these days, has become an international meeting point for people from the political, entrepreneurial, and cultural spheres.

It has successfully attracted and involved many young dancers as well, who come to the 19th-century Neo-Renaissance palace to experience a taste of the formal elegance and waltz music of bygone times as well as dance to more modern beats. Gentlemen will follow the black-tie dress code, while ladies will don full-length evening dresses.

The Austrian Ball begins with a grand opening by members of the Committee of Young Ladies and Gentlemen. Following this, other attendees are called to dance by way of the announcement of the “Alles Walzer.”

If the guests have been thoroughly paying attention during the opening, the participation in the midnight quadrille – a dance for four people – might be much easier. But there will be no shortage of professional guidance to help inexperienced guests participate in the quadrille.

A selection of exquisite Viennese specialities and premium Austrian wines will then top a perfect evening. Finally, each lady will receive a small present called a “Damenspende” when leaving the ball.

Several stars will help this year’s ball to shine: the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestra Josef Hlavsa, Viennese dance teacher Michael Hysek, famous Czech singer Monika Absolonová, pianist Mário Bihári, and the Czech “Sinatra” Jan Smigmator will entertain guests in Žofín’s large hall. There will also be music from DJ Adam Nedvídek.

People won’t only dance the waltz at the Austrian Ball. The discotheque in the small hall will have modern beats for guests who can dance right up until the early hours of the morning.

There is more than just music and dancing. People can also try some exquisite Viennese specialities and premium Austrian wines at the buffet, while tapas and Champagne will be available at the lounge.

The Austrian Ball is held under the auspices of Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, the President of Austria. It is officially put on by the Association of Austrians in the Czech Republic, while the City of Vienna is its patron.

At the same time, the Austrian Ball is a non-profit event and serves a good purpose every year. Its proceeds will support a charity organization Dejme dětem šanci (Let’s Give Children a Chance), a charity organization helping children and young people growing up in children’s homes on their journey to independence.

Sourceexpats cz
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