Each year more than 450 balls take place in Vienna. The best time of the year begins for ball-goers and dance fans on 11 November. The Vienna ball season starts punctually at the beginning of Carnival. In Vienna, the ball season reaches its peak in January and February, to be ended on Ash Wednesday when Lent starts. The old tradition of carnival balls continues to thrive in the city, and so it does too in the Netherlands.
History of the ball
Some might be wondering how such a tradition started in the Netherlands. In 1965, the then Austrian consul had a daughter Veronica, who was growing up in The Netherlands. He wanted to give Veronica the experience of a Viennese ball and organized a party in The Netherlands, much resembling the balls in Vienna, and invited diplomat and corporate friends with their children. The party was a great success, even though not everybody was familiar with the Austrian tradition, one girl didn’t even wore a white dress. With enthusiasm, a ball organization was formed with the objective to organize an annual ball, similar to the balls in Vienna. From 1966 up to 1972 the ball was held in the Kurhaus in Scheveningen. Due to renovations at the Kurhaus the ball had to diverge to a different location. The Hilton Hotel Amsterdam, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and for nine years the Stadsgehoorzaal in Leiden were locations of the ball until the nineties. Due to the Gulf War in 1991 the ball did not take place. In 1992 the ball moved to the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk, were it has never left since, and on 9 February 2018 the 50th Viennese ball in the Netherlands will take place. The ball in the Netherlands is nowadays one of the larger balls outside of Vienna and praised for its welcoming atmosphere.
Even though the location has changed over the years, the framework has stayed intact; a traditional Austrian debutant ball. True to tradition the ball is opened by the entrance of the “jungherren- and “jungdamenkommitee” (debutants), their formal dances and the call “Alles Walzer”. At midnight there is a ‘midnight interlude’, generally a quadrille that fi lls the entire dance fl oor and causes much laughter and amusement. We also incorporate the Austrian tradition of coffee houses, and offer a separate room with delicious pastry and coffee. A wonderful opportunity to rest ones feet, or simply enjoy some conversation in good company. In our grand ball room, we present an Austrian orchestra, to make sure we grasp the exact festive yet romantically formal atmosphere as in Vienna, with waltzes of Strauss, polka’s and other elegant dancing. While some dancers enjoy following the three-quarter time of the waltzes, others may prefer letting loose to a disco beat or a jazzy sound. The Wiener Ball offers all of this, with a variety of dancing rooms with live music. This combination culminates into an event that is incomparable to any other when it comes to elegance and refi nement, but also the mixture of young and old, business and pleasure, seamlessly going together.
The Stichting Oostenrijkse Cultuur in Nederland also launches a new initiative: the Ambassadors for Austrian Association, in short AAAclub. This business club will be making the rich Austrian culture more accessible and creates a new network of companies and individuals with an interest or relationship with Austria. Members can be both individuals and companies. The AAA-club organizes business lunches around topics related to culture, science and education with top speakers, together with packages at cultural events. The highlight of these events being the Wiener Ball. The website of the AAA-club will soon be released!
While we celebrate and cherish our traditions, the 50th ball is also the perfect time to look forward to the future. At our jubilee we present some changes to our concept, such as a changed room lay out with more view on the dance fl oor, we’ve added loges directly adjoining the dance fl oor, even more typical Austrian cuisine and cocktails. We hope to surprise you yet again with some high quality performances of Austrian musicians. Modern time infl uences come in the form of payment via a pass system during the evening and of course a complete online booking system.
Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin offers the possibility to dine in one of the restaurants before the ball, such as the one Michelin star awarded restaurant Latour, or even in the ballroom this year! Our jubilee ball will yet again be an unforgettable evening, which shows that this event full of heritage stands the test of time and will leave ball guests intoxicated and mesmerized for many more years to come.
Tickets are available at www.wienerball.huisterduin.com/.